Oil marketers under the umbrella of Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) and Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA) have appealed to the federal government to settle N800 billion outstanding subsidy claims owed to them to save the downstream sector from total shutdown of operations.
The executive secretaries of MOMAN and DAPPMA, Messrs Cement Isong and Olufemi Adewole who made the appeal in Lagos while addressing the media said non-payment of the debt had made it difficult for the marketers to access to credit.
Isong said MOMAN is a downstream oil and gas group made up of six major marketers which include: 11 Plc (formerly Mobil Oil Nigeria), Conoil Plc, OVH Energy Marketing Limited, Forte Oil Plc, MRS Oil Nigeria Plc and Total Nigeria Plc.
“We appreciate the efforts of the national assembly and the federal executive council in approving payment but the non-payment creates a significantly negative impact on the operational efficiency of the downstream sector of the oil industry, thereby placing a severe strain on its efforts to continually invest in infrastructure and raise industry standards. We hope that the debts will be paid in full to the oil marketers as soon as possible,” he said.
He said the cumulative debt owed to MOMAN was over N130.7 billion as at August 2018.
For his part, Adewole, 60 per cent of marketers had been forced out of business as banks had taken over their depots, assets and properties due to their inability to pay back monies borrowed to import fuel.
“The processes they have highlighted are killing our businesses. Immediately the banks read in the media that the national assembly had approved, they went to court, got injunction and seized our assets.”
He added that while some had closed shop, some others had been struggling to survive.
Adewole said although the federal government had earmarked money to clear the debts, the marketers were yet to be paid.
“The debt has had very adverse effects on our operations. I am aware of two depots that have been forcibly taken over by banks because they got injunctions from the courts. They did so the moment they heard that the National Assembly approved payment of the debt to marketers. Unfortunately, as at today the money was yet to get into our accounts.”