By Michael Eboh
Following the persistent fuel scarcity witnessed across the country, Nigerians Wednesday, called on oil marketers to show concern to the plight of the citizenry, going by the sufferings and the economic hardship their actions have brought upon the country.
Some respondents who spoke to Vanguard accused the marketers of holding the country to ransom and deliberately blackmailing Nigerians with their demands.
They wondered why the oil marketers suddenly became desperate to collect the money owed them, when in the past they were owed larger sums than what they are presently being owed.
Banks have not stopped lending to oil marketers
A source in one of the banks, who spoke to Vanguard on condition of anonymity, described as untrue, claims by some of the marketers that they are finding it difficult to import fuel because banks have stopped lending to oil companies.
According to the source, some of the banks are still lending to the oil marketers, due to the fact that Nigerian banks understand the peculiar situation faced by the oil marketers.
Marketers’ demand fuelled by fear of impending probe
Another source in one of the first generation banks, however, stated that the oil marketers’ renewed desperation to collect their outstanding payments before May 29 might be connected to the massive fraud in the petroleum subsidy regime.
The source said, “We wonder why the marketers suddenly became desperate to collect the money owed them, to the extent that they have stopped fuel importation over the issue. The oil marketers are aware of the challenges confronting the government, we expect them to be considerate and go about making their demands with a human face.
“I believe the desperation was because the marketers are afraid that the incoming administration will probe the petroleum subsidy scheme and sanction individuals found wanting.”