FG pays N166bn fuel subsidy arrears

The Federal Government has approved the payment of about N166bn to petroleum product marketers as reimbursement for outstanding subsidy claims.

According to sources at the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, the payment was for batch I to part of batch M of the claims.

It was learnt that the other part of batch M, and batches N, O and P, amounting to N105bn, were at the Debt Management Office awaiting payment.

The part payment, according to PPPRA sources, was to ensure stability in fuel supply as well as to encourage banks and other financial institutions, which were hitherto reluctant, to issue letters of credit to the marketers to finance petroleum products’ importation.

This is coming as the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani-Alison Madueke, has approved the release of the first quarter 2015 allocation to marketers for the importation of petroleum products into the country.

A statement issued by the PPPRA stated that the early release of the import allocation list was in furtherance of the government’s resolve to ensure continuous product supply in the system to sustain the relative peace in the downstream industry.

The Executive Secretary of PPPRA, Farouk Ahmed, said motorists should not engage in panic buying of petroleum products and gave an assurance that there was ample supply of products in the country. He said, “discharges and truck-out have continued in spite of the holidays and the festive period.”

The PPPRA further explained that apart from facilitating an improved national Premium Motor Spirit supply and stock build-up, the latest effort was to enable the marketers make adequate preparations for products sourcing and importation early in the New Year.

The agency said it was committed to prompt processing of documents for all imported products duly brought into the country.

It said the Petroleum Resources minister had commenced a regime of early release of quarterly PMS allocations in addition to supplementary allocations in order to satisfy the national demand.

According to the PPPRA, the early approvals, apart from providing additional imports to supplement the prevailing stock level in the system, is now responsible for the sustained availability of petroleum products across the country at regulated prices.

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