Indications are rife that Nigerians especially motorists may soon face another round of hard times if government does not act fast as
the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) has threatened to stop the importation of petroleum products over yet-to-be-paid N256 billion subsidy claim by the Federal Government.
The Executive Secretary of MOMAN, Mr Obafemi Olawore dropped an hint to this effect while briefing journalists at a news conference in Lagos on Friday to express the worries of members of the association.
Olawore said that the last time the government paid marketers N100 billion subsidy claim was in February and it was paid in Sovereign Debt Note (SDN),even when it was clear that they were being owed N315.8billion.
The MOMAN Secretary-General observed with reservation that despite the fact that government knew it will still have a debt profile of N215billion, it still chose to issue a post-dated note expected to mature at the end of April, which maturity he argued may not be visible.
“Besides, the Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) had earlier approved Batches T and U for last quarter of 2014 for payment which amounted to N30.5billion.
“In 2015, we also have Batches A and B for the products imported by MOMAN which has been approved by PPPRA but had not been paid and unfortunately the whole money put together is N256 billion,” he said.
The secretary-general lamented that the unpaid subsidy had really affected the marketers from expanding their businesses,more so the 2015 budget as passed by the House of Representative did not capture subsidy payment.
“If government is saying we should stop importation of petroleum or no more subsidies, they should please pay for what the association members had supplied,he pleaded.
“Right now, it is getting to a halt because we are bleeding; our suppliers are on us to pay for products supplied and the situation on ground is that as at April 22, what we have in our depots at Apapa will only last for three and half days, which shows that our members are finding it hard to bring in products.
“Our banks here are not even helping the situation because it has not been easy to access loan from them,” he said urging the Federal Government to pay the claim so that marketers could continue with the importation and avoid scarcity of the products.