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Oil firms suspend fuel import as banks insist on loan repayments

Petroleum marketers extends grace period ahead of suspension of operations

Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA) and the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) have insisted that government is still owing the two marketer groups N291billion.
DAPPMA executive secretary Mr. Olufemi Adewole had in a release lamented their inability to continue fuel import due to CBN regulations which requested marketers to make some refunds on their existing loans to the banking sector prior to being funded for petrol imports.
The statement, according to energy Times remarked that “Aftermath of the Senate Committees’ meeting with major petroleum industry stakeholders which successfully persuaded the petroleum tanker drivers, PTD-NUPENG and NARTO to call off their strike on Monday, 25th May, 2015 and resume loading of fuel from the various depots that had stock, it has become necessary to state the fact that depot owners and other fuel importers under the ‘petroleum subsidy scheme’ are still being owed billions of naira in unpaid subsidy reimbursement, interest on delayed payment and foreign exchange differentials.
“This much was expressed to Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association: DAPPMA and the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria: MOMAN by the former Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Mrs. Okonjo Iweala in her letter to both associations, a copy of which she also released to the Senate Committees for reference. However, the letter did not state the timeline for the re-verification exercise which the minister instituted on the amount she disputed and also did not state the expected date of payment which ‘PSF’ participants had been clamouring for in all the meetings held with the former CME/HMF since February 2015.
“It  should be noted that this is the first time since the establishment of the petroleum subsidy fund scheme that marketers will not have ready and easy access to fuel import loans as it is also the first time that commercial banks will notify importers that based on CBN regulations, importers have attained their credit ceilings with their various banks and would have to make some refunds on the existing loans to the sector prior to being funded for petrol imports; unfortunately the expected refund to the banks is yet to be reimbursed by the Federal Government.
“Due to debts owed transporters by marketers, who have been experiencing serious financial stress due to outstanding debts owed them by the Federal Government as a result of petrol imports under the petroleum subsidy scheme, the PTD-NUPENG and NARTO had at various times protested non-payment of their freight charges by withdrawing their services hence it is unfortunate for anyone to insinuate that marketers are blackmailers holding the nation to ransom via a strike about which they know nothing.
“ DAPPMA’s initial assertion on petrol importers and marketers who participate in the petrol subsidy scheme and are therefore entitled to subsidy reimbursement is based on the widely circulated payment list from the Federal Ministry of Finance, which was published in several newspapers. The publication detailed payees and other ‘PSF scheme’ participants even when there was no payment due to them and the name of Capital Oil and Gas Industries Limited was conspicuously missing; however further investigations have confirmed that the company is indeed being owed an undisclosed amount which however cannot be confirmed to have been added to the figure released by the former CME/HMF.
“It would be gross injustice against participants in the ‘PSF scheme’ who actually render a social service to the nation by importing petrol at international rate and sell below cost price at the behest of the Federal Government to be accused of being saboteurs just because they asked to be refunded the difference between the landing cost of the imported petrol and the local selling price in line with the agreed conditions of participation”.

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