THE Fedral government has approved the payment of N413 billion naira ($2.1 billion) to oil marketers as outstanding payment for fuel subsidy claims, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said on Wednesday.
NNPC said it hoped the payment meant marketers would help to ensure the country “remains wet with petroleum products all year round.”
Also Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) yesterday dispelled fears of petrol scarcity when it disclosed that the country has 265 million litres of petrol, just as it announced the setting up of a 24 hours surveillance monitoring team as part of efforts to ensure a hitch-free distribution of petroleum products to arrest an impending scarcity.
The move, DPR said, was also aimed at discouraging panic-buying, just as it said it was expecting over 800 million litres of fuel to be discharged before the end of the week.
Daily Sun investigations across major petrol stations revealed a chaotic situation as motorists scampered for the little fuel available, thus compounding the already worsening traffic situation
But in a swift reaction, a cross session of petroleum marketers said the solution to the current hitch in distribution of petroleum products was for government to clear an outstanding N500 billion subsidy debt.
DPR disclosed that setting up of surveillance team was in response to reported cases of panic buying in some fuel stations across the country.
Marketers disclosed that no marketer has being paid subsidy claims since August 2014, a situation that had forced over 70 percent to suspend further importation.
The marketers claimed that the inability of the Federal Government to settle subsidy arrears had led to the sack of over 1,700 workers.