Federal Government yesterday disclosed that oil marketers would be paid N156billion subsidy arrears. The government decried the persistent fuel scarcity in some parts of the country, especially in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.
Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, told journalists after opening the 20th Conference of Directors-General of Customs of the World Customs Organisation in Abuja, that despite the revenue challenges facing the current administration, it had not compromised on the payment of fuel subsidy to oil marketers.
The minister, who sympathised with Nigerians over their harrowing experience at filling stations, said government was doing everything possible to end the scarcity soon.
She explained that the government had in December 2014 paid N350billion to oil marketers, adding that an additional N3billion in foreign exchange differentials had been released.
The minister further stated that the government had been working with oil marketers leading to the “payment of N350billion in December, we paid them N31billion in foreign exchange differentials and by tomorrow (today) we will be paying them N100billion for which we had earlier given them IOUs for as well as their interest rate differentials of N56billion.”
Okonjo-Iweala said: “So, I am about to go and sign, to get that paid and I think that Nigerians can see that the government is making maximum effort to accommodate the oil marketers. They are also Nigerians, and they need to also cooperate with us.”
Meanwhile, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, has blamed the current fuel scarcity in some parts of the country on the strike embarked upon by the members of National Association of Road Transport Owners, NARTO, and the Petroleum Tanker Drivers, PTD over disagreements with major oil marketers.
In a statement issued on Tuesday by NNPC’s Group General Manager for Public Affairs, Mr. Ohi Alegbe, he said the strike was in protest of the huge amount of money NARTO and PTD members claimed they were owed by the oil marketers and as a result the truck drivers had refused to lift petroleum products from the depots.
He however assured Nigerians that NNPC has enough stock of petrol to service the country for 27 days at a national consumption rate of 40 million litres per day even as it has stepped up efforts to end the distribution challenges in the fuel supply system.
Alegbe said: “We have sufficient stock of petrol at our coastal depots in Port Harcourt, Warri, and Calabar besides the stock we hold in the national strategic reserves.”
Alegbe said the corporation was working towards a speedy resolution of the issues to ensure a hitch-free distribution of products across the country and appealed to NARTO and PTD to call off the strike in the interest of the country and not unleash avoidable hardship on Nigerians.

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