N660bn Debt: FG has assured payment – oil marketers

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The Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) on Wednesday said Federal Government had assured of full settlement of all debts owed on importation of petroleum products.

Executive Secretary of MOMAN, Mr Obafemi Olawore, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Wednesday that the government had demonstrated positive disposition to defray the N660 billion owed to oil marketers.

Olawore said that government and MOMAN officials had been holding meetings and how to reconcile the debt figure to enable payment to be made, adding that solution was in sight.

He lauded the government for convening the stakeholders’ forum to discuss pertinent issues that would support effective distribution of petroleum products across the country.



He said that the meeting considered various frameworks and options for the reconciliation and resolution of outstanding subsidy claims from previous years.

Olawore added that the meeting also discussed foreign exchange differentials, delayed payments interest and bridging claims which were expected to boost and sustain the fuel supplies.

“The government has stressed the importance of continued private sector participation in the entire downstream sector value chain and as such, find lasting solution to the outstanding debt.

“Government is trying its best; we are going to give them full support. They have told us their challenges which we are aware of and they are making all effort to pay all outstanding debts.



“They have promised that at the end of the reconciliation everything will be settled,’’ he said, adding that there were some areas where the marketers would pay some money to the government.

He explained that the recent payment of N150 billion to the marketers through the Petroleum Equalization Fund (PEF) was for bridging of products.

According to Olawore, the N150 billion was money owed marketers on transportation of products from one destination to the other outside a particular region.

He said that the debts comprised bridging arrangement, products importation arrangement and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) arrangement on cost of products.

NAN recalls that on Jan. 18, oil marketers appealed to the government to settle subsidy arrears of over N660 billion to enable them to strengthen their capacities for importation of petroleum products.

However, on Jan. 26, the government ordered immediate payment of N150 billion to independent oil marketers across the country. It was intended to check the threat to steady supply of the products. (NAN)

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