The Federal Government yesterday as
sured it would pay Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) about N156 billion today to halt the current fuel scarcity ravaging the country.
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”.