by Musa Abdullahi & Agency Reports
The Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) on Friday 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 made the disclosure at a news conference in Lagos.
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).
He said that the post-dated note would mature at the end of April.
The secretary-general said that before the N100 billion SDN was issued, the government was indebted to the tune of N315.8 billion.
“But if you deduct the N100 billion from the N315.8 billion, you will have 215.8 billion.
“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.
“This also amounted to N9.7 billion.So the money put together is N256 billion,” he said.
The secretary-general said that the unpaid subsidy had really affected the marketers from expanding their businesses.
Olawore said that the association’s fear was that 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.
“Right now, it is getting to a halt because we are bleeding; our suppliers are on us to pay for products supplied.
“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.
He urged the Federal Government to pay the claim so that marketers could continue with the importation and avoid scarcity of the products.
He added that NNPC could not import the products alone because presently MOMAN imports about 40 per cent of the nation’s consumption.