This article is part of our #FirstWord series to provide context on trending news.
The Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), Depot and Petroleum Product Marketers Association (DAPPMA) and the Independent Petroleum Products Importers (IPPIs) on Sunday, December 2nd called on the Federal Government to settle its outstanding debts of over ₦800 billion.
According to them, failure to meet the 7 day deadline will force its members to stop fuel depot operations across the country.
Patrick Etim, IPPI’s legal adviser told news agencies that marketers are unable to pay salaries to their workers because of the large subsidy debts owed by the government.
“The only way to salvage the situation is for government to pay the oil marketers the outstanding debts through cash option instead of promissory note being proposed. As I speak, nothing has been done several months after assurances received by government saying it would pay off the outstanding debts.”
“The oil marketers have requested that forex differential and interest component of government’s indebtedness to marketers be calculated up to December 2018 and be paid within next seven days from the date of the letter sent to the government,’’ - Patrick Etim
Olufemi Adewole, the executive secretary of DAPPMA also confirmed Mr Etim’s message.
Demand for fuel subsidy arrears to be paid have been going on for a while. At the start of the current Muhammadu - Buhari administration, oil marketers engaged the Government to secure approval of all outstanding subsidy induced debt handed over from the previous Goodluck - Jonathan administration.
While part of the debt was paid earlier in the year, there’s still a substantial differential pending.
The federal government is yet to respond to this ultimatum by the marketers. However, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) says it has enough reserve of fuel to last a month in case of an emergency.