Oil marketers, govt dialogue over subsidy arrears



Oil marketers, including Oando and Mobil, have adopted moral suasion to woo the Federal Government to pay their fuel subsidy arrears.

The Chief Operating Officer, Oando Marketing Company, a subsidiary of Oando Plc, Mrs. Williams Olaposi, gave this indication on the sidelines of the inauguration of Oando Truck Marshalling Yard 2, and Sapara Road project in Apapa, Lagos.

She said the firms that were approved by the Federal Government to collect subsidies are law-abiding, and prefer dialogue to protest on the payment of subsidies arrears owed them by the government.

She said oil marketing companies are corporate entities, which place the interest of the nation above personal interest, and would, therefore, not want to do anything that would affect the generality of the people.

Olaposi said: “We (marketers) are corporate organisations; we are not going to down tools because we have not been paid subsidies by the government. We would continue to push for our subsidies until we are paid. We would not suffer the community, the good people of Nigeria, on the issue. We would not stop importing because that would amount to grounding the country to a halt.”

She said the marketers employed dialogue as part of efforts to identify with the resolve of the government of President Muhammad Buhari to fix the economy. Olaposi said the Chief Executive officers (CEOs) of oil marketing companies have been going to Abuja, the nation’s Federal Capital, to meet people who can considerably assist them in persuading the Federal Government to pay the subsidy arrears they have spent on importing fuel into the country.

“We (marketers) meet with the Federal Government regularly on the issue of payment of subsidy arrears, which the government owes us. Our Chief Executive officers always in Abuja to meet the helmsmen of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC); we are speaking with the think tanks in the Presidency on the issue,” she added.

Also, the Managing Director, Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc, Tunji Oyebanji said there was nowhere the major oil marketers had held the country to ransom over non-payment of their subsidy arrears.

Fielding questions from reporters on why marketers still import fuel despite the huge subsidy arrears owed them, Oyebanji said the marketers are hopeful that the government would meet its debt obligations to them some day.

He said the Mahammadu Buhari administration has promised to pay marketers their subsidy arrears.

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