Oil marketers urge FG to pay $2bn fuel subsidy arrears

FG orders payment of N150bn to petroleum marketers

The Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) has appealed to the federal government to pay the $2 billion fuel subsidy claims owed its members.

Obafemi Olawore, executive secretary MOMAN, who made the plea on Wednesday in Lagos, said they needed it to pay back their bank loans.

Olawore said the immediate payment of the accumulated subsidy claims would salvage the banks from total collapse over the huge debts owed them by marketers, and avert the scarcity of petroleum products in the country.

According to him, the delay in repayment of the loan debts owed the banks by marketers had led to a retrenchment in the banking and the oil and gas sectors.

“We (marketers) are afraid that if the money is not paid on time, this may attract the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) to take over our businesses,” he said. “The debts had imparted grossly on marketers, while only very few marketers are presently importing insignificant quantity of petroleum products into the country.”

Olawore added that the inability of marketers to import fuel had impacted negatively on loading activities at the Apapa and dockyard private depots.

He noted that the NNPC had become the sole importer of petroleum products, while marketers were queuing to get the products on credit.

He said that the federal government paid over N300 million daily as fuel subsidy.

Olawore also said that a problem in the oil sector invariably affects the banking sector, because of the unpaid loans collected by marketers borrowed.

He explained that some banks might be having problem with their correspondence banks abroad due to the unpaid loans.

“Once we (marketers) are unable to pay, the banks will have problems,’’ he said. “This can have negative effects on the financial sector’s stability, which is not good for the economy.

“A situation where the banks are being owed N800 billion constitute major threat to the continuous existence of the sector.”     

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