The Major Oil Markers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) has assured the public of adequate supply of the Premium Motor Spirit to reduce queues witnessed in fuel stations in the country. Mr Femi Olawore, Executive Secretary of the association, gave the assurance on Monday in Abuja after a meeting with the Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
“You all recall that there were some issues about movement of products to the retail outlets, following the release of the last payment. The owners of the trucks have agreed to allow their trucks to start loading. As we speak, there have been loading. Those of you can call your friends in Lagos; they will all confirm that Lagos is getting better by the hour but because of the distance between Lagos and Abuja, it will take sometimes before Abuja gets to the normal position,’’ he said.
According to him, in a couple of days, Abuja will also have the relief of the situation. He said that the marketers had discussed with the minister and resolved some issues and would continue to talk with government. On the outstanding payment, he said marketers always calculated up to date as business people, attributing it to difference in the figures between marketers and government.
Responding, Okonjo-Iweala said that government had appealed to the group and it had agreed that following the payment of the N154 billion, the members would make the products available. “We really welcomed the news that has been announced by the marketers and we thank them, especially with the discussion that makes the truck owners to move the products. “On our own side, we are looking at issues they have on the table; government is a continuum and I think that you found that whatever the issues are, it would be resolved so that Nigerians will not suffer,’’ she said.
The minister corrected that N154 billion had already been paid, instead of the N156 billion early reported. “When the amount paid is actually looked at, it comes to actually N154 billion; so its N2 billion down; it is still within the calculation of the standard deviation,’’ she added.
Commenting on the outstanding payments, she said “what I want you to understand is that this is a rolling business and that is what we actually discussed toady. “There is no one definite figure; even as we speak, by the time we leave, the executive of PPPRA may have cleared some more Sovereign Debt Notes (SDN) and the figures will change.”
She added that as at last week when N154 billion was paid, N98 billion was outstanding but presently, more SDN had been cleared. According to her, the amount to be paid as outstanding is never a fixed sum for the total year. The minister said that government throughout the year had been paying, including the ones in the years before.
She said that there would not be need to be fixed on the argument of whether the outstanding was N98 billion or N200 billion. “As long as they continue to supply fuel to Nigerians, there will always be something to be paid. “When this administration took over, monies were owed and we paid; this will continue and it rolls on everyday and you clear the money as you go. “Like we said, government is a continuum and the marketers have accepted that,’’ she said