petrol stationThe Federal Government on Monday moved to avert a nationwide petrol scarcity as it released fresh N48bn to oil marketers.

The payment was confirmed through a statement issued by the Special Adviser on Communications to the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on Monday night in Abuja

The fresh N48bn, which was paid to 26 oil marketers, brings the total amount so far released for subsidy payment by the ministry in the 2013 fiscal period to N240.5bn

The beneficiaries are AITEO Energy Resources Limited, Ascon Oil Company Limited, Conoil Plc, Dee Jones Petroleum and Gas, Dozzy Oil and Gas Limited and Forte Oil Plc.

Others are Fresh Synergy Limited, Gulf Treasures Limited, Integrated Oil and Gas Limited, IPMAN Investment Limited, Masters Energy Oil and Gas Limited, Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc, and NIPCO Plc.

The rest are RainOil Limited, Sahara Energy Resources, Swift Oil Limited, Techno Oil Limited, Total Nigeria Plc, Bovas and Company, Heyden Petroluem, MRS Oil and Gas, Shorelink and Aiteo Energy Resources.

The statement read in part, “The Federal Ministry of Finance has released the sum of N48.085bn as payments to oil marketers to cover verified subsidy claims. It will be recalled that before this latest payment, a total of N192.502bn in verified claims had been settled this year.

“This means that so far in 2013, total payments made to oil marketers stand at N240.587bn.”

The Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, whose members comprise Conoil, Forte, MRS, Mobil, Oando and Total, had on Friday threatened to stop importation of petrol due to the non-payment of their N40.6bn subsidy claims by the Federal Government.

The Secretary, MOMAN, Mr. Obafemi Olawore, had said the debt was largely for petrol imports done this year.

Although he said subsidy payments were made in June, only Forte, Mobil and Total got N2bn, N2.2bn and N5.2bn, respectively, making a total of N9.4bn.

While other marketers have been fully paid for their petrol imports in 2011 and 2012, Mobil is still being owed N7.83bn for the period.

According to a document on the status of outstanding subsidy claims made available to our correspondent, the Federal Government still owes Conoil N3.98bn;  Forte, N4.148bn; MRS, N5.35bn; Mobil, N5.62bn; Oando, N19.34bn; and Total, N1.66bn.

The non-payment of the debt, Olawore lamented, had made it difficult for marketers to continue to do business, noting that they relied on bank loans for petrol imports.

He explained that the agreement with the Federal Government was for subsidy payments to be made 45 days after the imported fuel had been delivered.

For failure to abide by the 45-day agreement, the MOMAN scribe said the marketers were losing a lot in bank interests and foreign exchange.


Information from Punch was used in this report.