By KUNLE KALEJAYE
Strong indications has emerged that financial institutions in the country have refuse to finance fuel importation, which may lead to scarcity of petroleum products in a couple of days.
This could however, be as a result of the nonpayment of petroleum subsidy to oil marketers by the federal government.
According to report, oil marketers belonging to various bodies such as Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, MOMAN, Depots and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria, DAPPMAN are yet to be paid the sum of N200 billion by the federal government as subsidy payment.
Speaking with newsmen recently in Lagos, chairman of Depots and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria, DAPPMAN, Mr. Dapo Abiodun said by the end of this week, oil marketers would have exhausted all their products.
“By the end of next week none of us will have products at the depots because banks are not opening their offices for anybody anymore.
“The only people that have products is the NNPC because they have done all the swoop arrangements, they have all the vessels floating when they bring in the products, they will start to run demurrage,” he said. When all petroleum products are exhausted, Mr. Abidun noted that oil marketers will shut their doors which will lead to scarcity of petroleum products.
As chairman of DAPPMAN, Mr. Abiodun said“none of my members have been paid since the last time we attempted to strike. Only onemember has been paid in MOMAN. N200 billion is what is outstanding but government is campaigning that they had paid us some amount of money.”
He however, suggested that the federalgovernment should stop banks for charging their interest pending when all the money owned to marketers have been fully paid.
“Government has not done that and the banks are happy counting their interest.
“If i can’t pay for a particular month, the banks will debit my account every month. Why they do that? It is because they have the books to our tank farms. If there was no collateral they will not do that and by then they will have started to cry out.
“All the banks are doing current evaluation to make sure that what marketers are owing is still covered by their assets. As long as this is happening, they are not willing to cry out.
So the government in their wisdoms has not told the banks to stop the interest,” he said.
Mr. Dayo Abiodun said DAPPMAN is in full support of the removal of subsidy adding they are not the beneficiaries of subsidy which is contrarily to what the masses think.
“We fully support the removal of subsidy. This subsidy payment cannot be sustained. NNPC outstanding payment as of May is $7 billion which is about N1.5 trillion. We in DAPPAM we got almost $400 billion that is about N2 trillion as at the end of May. So at the end of this year we will be looking at about N4.2 trillion. So we cannot sustain that.
“The early we start accepting the fact that we cannot continue to sustain subsidy the better for us.
Labour and Civil Society Organisation have urged oil marketers to invest more in establishing refineries in order to wipe out subsidy and create jobs for Nigerians.