Oil marketers vow to shut down depots over N800b subsidy
Oil marketers yesterday vowed to shut down depots nationwide over settlement of outstanding N800 billion subsidy debts.
The marketers, comprising of Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA) and Independent Petroleum Products Importers (IPPIs), said failure to meet the deadline would force their members to disengage workers from depots.
Though Chief Executive Officer/Executive Secretary, Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), Clement Isong, said the group was not part of the ultimatum, he stated that the reason for the ultimatum was understandable as some oil companies were already going out of business over the huge debt.
The Legal Adviser to IPPI, Patrick Etim, who said there was no going back on the ultimatum, noted that banks had taken over investments and assets of oil marketers over unpaid debts.
According to Etim, marketers have no choice that to ask their workers to stay at home over unpaid salary arrears due to huge 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 from government to 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 the next seven days from the date of the letter sent to the government,’’ he said.
Executive Secretary of DAPPMA, Olufemi Adewole, who confirmed the seven-day ultimatum notice, disclosed that the oil marketers on November 28 served the ultimatum letter on the Debt Management Office (DMO), Minister of Finance, Chairman, Senate Committee on Petroleum Downstream, Department of State Services (DSS) and Minister of State for Petroleum Resources.
He said: “We urge the DMO to process and pay marketers in cash for their outstanding forex differentials and interest component claims, together with the amount approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) and the National Assembly.”