The Depot and Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPMA) Executive Secretary, Mr. Femi Adewole, has said the Federal Government is yet to pay members over N650 billion subsidy arrears.
He said the failure of the government to pay the money was having negative effects on their operations.
He told The Nation on phone that the issue had forced many marketers out of business, while others were struggling to survive.
Adewole said there was no truth in the statement that the government had earmarked money to clear the debts, stressing that marketers had dismissed such statements.
According to him, such statements were not enough. He added that the government had for long been telling marketers that they would soon be paid.
Adewole said: “Marketers have tried many options to stay in business, following the failure of the government to pay them subsidies on the fuel they imported, which have grown over the time. While some have managed to still buy and sell petroleum products, others are not. In all, marketers have accumulated debts and are getting impatient over the issue.
“It is difficult for marketers to believe the government again. It has severally reneged on its promise to pay the money, a development, which has made marketers hope to get the money. In 2017, the government told marketers that the money has been approved for payment. Up till now, marketers have not received a dime.’’
According to him, the government made propaganda out of the issue of the payment as its promise is yet to be fulfilled. He said the promises of the government on the payment have become endless, adding that many marketers are weary of such promises.
Failure of the government to pay the subsidies has made the debt to increase greatly due to bank interests and other charges, he added. According to him, marketers are going to react at the right time, adding that they are keeping their plans to their chest for now.