The Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) has threatened to stop further importation of petroleum products over a cumulative debt of N256 billion which it says the Federal Government currently owes its members.
Mr Obafemi Olawore, MOMAN’s Executive Secretary, who made the disclosure at a news conference on Friday, disclosed that the last time the government paid marketers’ subsidy claim was in February, 2015.
He said the payment was in form of a post-dated Sovereign Debt Note (SDN) amounting to N100bn, which would only mature at the end of April.
The secretary-general said that before the N100 billion was paid, the government was indebted to them to the tune of N315.8 billion.
Olawore said: “But if you deduct the N100 billion from the N315.8 billion, you will have N215.8 billion.
“Besides, the Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) had earlier approved Batches T and U for last quarter of 2014 for payment which amounted to N30.5billion.
“In 2015, we also have Batches A and B for the products imported by MOMAN which has been approved by PPPRA but had not been paid.
“This also amounted to N9.7 billion. So the money put together is N256 billion,” he said.
The MOMAN Scribe said that the unpaid subsidy had had a great toll on members’ businesses.
According to him, the situation has been worsened by the inability of the House of Representative to capture subsidy payment in the 2015 budget which they passed this week.
“If government is saying we should stop importation of petroleum or no more subsidies, they should please pay for what the association members have supplied.
“Right now, it is getting to a halt because we are bleeding; our suppliers are on us to pay for products supplied.
“As at April 22, what we have in our depots at Apapa will only last for three and half days, which shows that our members are finding it hard to bring in products.
“Our banks here are not even helping the situation because it has not been easy to access loan from them,” he said.
Olawore, therefore, urged the Federal Government to pay the subsidy claims of marketers if the nation must avoid an acute fuel scarcity.