It seems the fuel scarcity being witnessed by Nigerians may linger following the non- payment of oil marketers by the Federal Government.
The oil marketers under the aegis of Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA) are demanding for the payment of huge sums of monies owed by the federal government in order for its members to remain in business.
There has been controversy over subsidy claims by Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) which has thrown the nation into weeks of fuel scarcity and hardship.
Yesterday in Lagos, DAPPMA disclosed that its members are yet to receive payment on interest incurred from loan obtained from banks to import petrol products.
DAPPMA members are largely depot owners and have retail outlets spread all over the country; they also participate in the petroleum subsidy fund and import fuel and other products but largely fuel. Also, they partner with major oil marketers to make sure Nigerians have products all over the country.
They have depots spread all over the country and are currently been owed huge sums of money by the federal government.
At a joint media briefing organized by MOMAN and DAPPMA, Executive Secretary of DAPPMA, Olufemi Adewole disclosed that that government owed the association over N200 billion, adding that the money is attracting interest on daily basis which according to him has been mounting since February this year.
He however, disclosed that some DAPPMA members have received about N110 billion which represents subsidy portion from products imported while the interest portion is yet to be settled.
According to him, the traffic gridlock being experienced in Lagos was mostly caused by petroleum tankers that are on queue to load from Apapa depots operated by members, disclosing that there is shortage of products at the depots following their inability to import as a result of nonpayment of their claims.
Lagos State Government Wednesday issued a 48-hour ultimatum to tanker drivers parked within 300 meters of fuel depots in the state to relocate to safe parking lots pending the availability of petroleum products.
He said that out of twenty four of its members involved in petrol import only six have been paid the interest portion, saying that that the over N200 billion outstanding was a combined claim of both MOMAN and DAPPMA.
He regretted that since the latest round of scarcity occasioned by marketers’ inability to import fuel, government has not taken measures to contact them so as to resolve the matter.
“Government is insensitive to the whole issue, they have refused to dialogue with the marketers, so what we distribute so far is the little we receive from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)” he explained.
On whether, they will resume importation, he said, “at the moment due to the huge outstanding and our inability to repay the loan we took, the banks cannot give us money and our suppliers have lost confidence in giving us products so we cannot import.