Home Business Petroleum products depot owners, marketers edgy over unpaid N291bn subsidy claims

Petroleum products depot owners, marketers edgy over unpaid N291bn subsidy claims

by Business News Report

Depot owners and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA) on Wednesday expressed worries over what they called outstanding N291 billion subsidy claims to marketers. Mr Olufemi Adewole, the Executive Secretary of DAPPMA, said in a statement that it had become imperative for the bodies to restate that they were still being owed.
The statement was made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
Adewole classified the debts as subsidy reimbursement, interest on delayed payment and foreign exchange differentials. According to him, the aftermath of the Senate Committee’s meeting with major petroleum industry stakeholders persuaded the petroleum tanker drivers, and NARTO to call off their strike on May 25 and resume loading of petrol from the various depots.
“The former Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr Okonjo Iweala, in her letter to DAPPMA and the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) did not state the timeline for the re-verification exercise on disputed subsidy claims.
“She also did not state the expected date of payment which Petroleum Subsidy Fund (PSF) participants had clamoured for since February 2015,” he said.

The DAPPMA scribe said the accumulation of subsidy debts followed marketers’ failure to access petroleum products import loans since the establishment of the petroleum subsidy fund scheme. Adewole said:“It is also the first time that commercial banks will notify importers that based on CBN regulations, importers have attained their credit ceilings with their various banks.
“Due to debts owed transporters by marketers, marketers also have experienced serious financial difficulties following outstanding debts owed by the Federal Government under the petroleum subsidy scheme. The PTD and NARTO had at various times protested non-payment of their freight charges by withdrawing their services. It is unfortunate for anyone to insinuate that marketers are holding the nation to ransom through strikes.”
Adewole also said petrol importers and marketers, who participated in the petrol subsidy scheme, were entitled to subsidy reimbursement based on the published Federal Ministry of Finance payment list.
He described the publication of payees and other ‘PSF scheme’ participants as misleading and embarrassing, especially when government did make any payment.
Adewole said that it amounted to gross injustice against participants in the PSF Scheme, who rendered social service, to be accused of sabotage for demanding refund of the difference between the landing cost of the imported petrol and the local selling price.
“Depot owners and marketers, as patriotic Nigerians, had always advocated the need to remove fuel subsidy, which only benefit foreign refineries where the products are refined.
“The Federal Government should fully deregulate the downstream petroleum sector as the Nigerian economy cannot continue to sustain the subsidy regime. Funds released after the removal of subsidy can be utilised for infrastructural development and job creation in addition to jobs already created by DAPPMA members,” he said.

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