Oil Marketers to Get N236bn on Dec 14
The federal government said yesterday that it would pay oil marketers by Friday December 14th, N236 billion being first tranche payment of the verified N348 billion outstanding subsidy claims owed the marketers by the government
This assurance was given by the Chief Operating officer (COO), Downstream of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Mr. Henry Ikem-Obih in Abuja.
He said the agreement to pay the marketers was reached at a meeting last Thursday with all the relevant stakeholders present, including the Depot and Petroleum Product Marketers Association (DAPPMA) who on Friday denied that it reached such agreement with government.
Obih explained that it was agreed that after the first tranche is paid, the marketers will form a committee to work on details of how the next tranche will be paid in 2019 and the last paid in 2020.
“This is the most honest effort we have seen in a long time to actually pay this debt. Government is saying we will pay by Friday 14th December. Wait till 14th, if government does not pay then you can take alternative actions,” he said.
He said the position of the government on the mode of payment based on its agreement with the marketers, has not changed.
“What marketers would get on Friday is like a cheque, it is not cash injected directly into their accounts it is what is equivalent to a cheque which is a promissory note,” he said.
Obih said almost 2.8bn litres of petrol is available and that would last for the next 55 days, so “should NNPC stop importation; there is no need for Nigerians to engage in panic buying of petrol this festive season.”
Also speaking to reporters on the matter, some members of DAPPMA differed with the association’s position, saying the timing of the ultimatum was wrong.
The Managing Director of A.A Rano Nigeria Ltd, Aliu Bebeji, said the company receives product from the NNPC and would run its operations smoothly this period.
“I want to plead with marketers to exercise patience and give government a second chance to see what they can do,” he said.
The Managing Director AYM Shaffa Nig Ltd, Ahmed Umar Abdullahi, said the company would not encourage any action that would bring additional suffering to the Nigerian populace.
“I don’t think the government has failed (to keep its promise) the government has tried and we should remain patient and calm. They promised last year and they fulfilled it and then negotiation continues,” he said.
The Managing Director of Obat Oil and Petroleum Prince Femi Akinwutan said, “we have put everything in place to support the government because the government has been very supportive as well. We are going to load 24 hours-day and night and even holiday period to make sure that this period all Nigerians would not have issues in getting fuel. All our stations would be wet, our depot and staff would work 24/7.”
The National President Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD), a branch of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) Salimon Oladiti said its position on the matter remained the position of its parent body and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN).
PENGASSAN president Comrade Francis Johnson appealed to both government and the marketers “to look at the larger interest of the Nigerian nation and do what is needful.”