The Federal Government has constituted a seven-member Pan-industry Committee to explore ways of resolving the lingering dispute between the Ministry of Finance and petroleum products marketing and trading companies over delays in payment of subsidy reimbursements.
The Committee which represents different players in the downstream petroleum industry, is to be chaired by the Executive-Secretary of the Major Marketers Association of Nigeria, MOMAN, Thomas Olawore, and be assisted by Mr. E. Kanawa of MRS Oil and Gas Limited.
Others are Representives of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources Mr. G.O Komolafe and the Pipeline and Products Marketing Company, PPMC, a unit of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, and Mr. O.O Agbaje of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, who would serve as the Secretary of the committee.
Also named is Mr. Chris Igwe of Mainland Oil and Gas Limited, Mr. Collins Ogbu of Northwest Petroleum and Mr. Richard Eze of Dee Jones Petroleum. While the first four members representing the major marketers and government agencies, the others are representing independent marketers and depot operators in the market.
The Committee is expected to reach an agreement with the Ministry of Finance on how to fast track payment of subsidy reimbursements on imported products in order to cut the financial risk exposures associated with the delays in subsidy payments.
However, a spokesman in the Ministry of Finance, Mr. Paul Nwabuikwu, had explained that the Ministry and CBN were exhausting efforts to weed out fake marketers that still explored loopholes in the system, adding that some of the claims presented by some marketers were placed under investigation. According to the ministry, detailed scrutiny of the claims would inevitably take some time and entail delays in payment of claims.
With the constitution of the Olawore committee, it is expected that all parties in the subsidy arrangement would evolve a workable processes of fast tracking claims verification and payment of reimbursements to marketers within the agreed time frame.
Information from The Nation was used in this report.