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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Fuel Scarcity : Jonathan Orders Marketers To Be Paid N156 billion

GEJ
To halt the current fuel scarcity ravaging the country, the Federal Government yesterday as­sured it would pay Major Oil Marketers Association of Ni­geria (MOMAN) about N156 billion today.

The Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo- Iweala,stated this at the World Customs Day event held in Abuja yesterday. The Minister said the payment of N156 billion represents the remaining tranche of the N256.2 billion debt owed MOMAN in subsidy claims.

Given further breakdown of the the N156 billion, she said government has committed to pay N100 billion as IOUs as well as the interest rate differen­tial of N56 billion.

The latest move by govern­ment would bring an end to the lingering fuel scarcity, the atten­dant long queues at the filling stations and unnecessary suffer­ings of Nigerians since March this year.

The payment today was in swift reaction to President Good­luck Jonathan’s order to the Fi­nance Minister to end the logjam occasioned by the scarcity.

Okonjo- Iweala had sought for the co-operation of the oil marketers to end the persistent fuel scarcity across the country, saying government was doing all it can to end the current fuel scarcity.

“Let me tell you, on the is­sue with oil marketers, we have been really working with them. We have been dialoguing with them. We paid them N350 bil­lion in December. We paid them N31 billion as foreign exchange differential and by tomorrow (to­day), we will be paying them the N100 billion which we will give them as IOUs as well as their interest rate differential of N56 billion. I am about to sign to get that paid and I think Nigerians will agree that the government is making good effort to accom­modate the oil marketers. They are also Nigerians and they also need to co-operate with us.

Meanwhile the Minis­ter of Information, Patricia Akwashiki,has said that the in­coming administration of Gen Muhammodu Buhari will not inherent fuel queues as the coun­try has enough fuel in its reserves for the next 27 days .

“I want to assure that we have enough fuel to supply and the problem is not that we do not have fuel on ground. We have a problem with the tanker drivers and that has to do with the non-payment of fuel subsidy claims But from tomorrow (today), the Coordinating Minister of the economy is going to start pay­ing off some of the liabilities we have in that sector and it will ease off,’’ she said

Akwashiki however said that part of the problem is logistics,especially with the transport unions in the petroleum sector,who are equally being owed. ‘‘We don’t have to wait for Buhari administration to fix it, we can fix it and we have been fixing it”.

Sunnews

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