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Fuel scarcity: Senate urges oil marketers to drop strike plans

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Senate

Nigeria Senate Thursday urged the oil marketers to as a matter of national interest shelve their seven-day ultimatum.

The lawmakers also urged the federal government to pay outstanding fuel subsidy arrears to oil marketers within the next two weeks.

On Monday, the marketers comprising Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA) and Independent Petroleum Products Importers (IPPIs), gave the federal government a seven-day ultimatum, to settle outstanding debts totalling N800 billion, including foreign exchange differentials and interest rate component, owed to them.

The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Petroleum Downstream, Kabiru Marafa, said the action of the marketers, if not well checked, may result in artificial fuel scarcity during the festive season and through the election period.

He said the rigorous rules of the Debt Management Office forced marketers to object to the processes and resolved to give an ultimatum to pay and revert to an agreement made at a meeting with the vice president, Yemi Osinbajo, in June 2017.

Marafa noted that subjecting the payment to another set of rules after the presidential and National Assembly consent amounts to a “deliberate attempt to sabotage the government’s effort.”

He said the rigorous rules of the DMO forced marketers to object to the processes and resolved to give an ultimatum to pay and revert to an agreement made at a meeting with the vice president, Yemi Osinbajo, in June 2017.

The lawmakers, therefore, resolved that the federal government direct all the concerned agencies to immediately pay the subsidy arrears as approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) and passed by the National Assembly.



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