N800b subsidy debt: Oil marketers deny signing pact with FG
• Insist On 7-day Ultimatum
• FG To Pay Marketers N236bn Next Friday
Oil marketers have rebutted any agreement with the Federal Government to discontinue their planned industrial action hinged on the N800bn subsidy debt owed them by government.
The Depots and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPPMA), yesterday, in Lagos refuted striking a deal with the Federal Ministry of Finance on payment of subsidy arrears.
A statement signed by the Executive Secretary, DAPPMA, Mr. Olufemi Adewole, reiterated that there was no agreement, claiming that offers by the ministry failed to meet the association’s legitimate demands.
Adewole, according to the statement, said: “We refer to the press release from the Federal Ministry of Finance on December 6, following the meeting with marketers under the aegis of Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) and DAPPMA, and Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), that marketers had agreed to resume operations. We did not sign the purported document with government as claimed. We still stand by our ultimatum.”
However, the Chief Financial Officer, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Isiaka Abdurazaq, told journalists, yesterday, in Lagos that the Federal Government had reached an agreement with marketers on the amount to be paid, the time the payment would be made and the nature it would take.
But Adewole said with the development, the ultimatum still stood, adding that marketers could not continue to borrow money to pay staff salaries.
The Federal Government has, however, said it will pay oil marketers, particularly Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) and the Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA) N236bn as first tranche of outstanding N348 billion subsidy arrears next Friday.
Speaking after a meeting yesterday with the marketers in Abuja, Chief Operating Officer, NNPC, Downstream Henry Ikem-Obih, said the other part of the money would be paid next year.
Ikem-Obih, however, said the marketers are currently indebted to the Federal Government, adding that government has decided to settle the outstanding despite the debt.
He said: “We agreed that after the first tranche is paid, the marketers would form a committee to work on details of how the next tranche will be paid in 2019 and the last tranche in 2020. Government is fully committed to paying the first tranche as promised and will be paid through promissory note that would be issued by the Debt Management Office, DMO.
Though the marketers claimed that the arrears hover around N800bn, Ikem-Obih said the National Assembly approved N348bn.