FG Approves 413bn Naira Oil Marketers’ Subsidy Claims

Christmas is coming. Lets hope we wont be paying more for and struggling to find petrol during that period. This has been the tradition for several years…even though for the greater part of the Jonathan years it had been easier at Christmas.

However, last December, it was business as usual because the price of petrol soared to N150 per liter.

How will that recurrent problem be tackled in this era? It seems the NNPC is being proactive here.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Wednesday injected additional volumes of Premium Motor Spirit to boost product availability in some major cities with noticeable fuel queues.

In a statement by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Ohi Alegbe, the NNPC said that the measure was in line with its drive to ensure zero fuel queues ahead of the forthcoming Christmas season and beyond.

NNPC says“The Corporation is working assiduously with its downstream subsidiary company, the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC) and other downstream players to consolidate the prevailing stability in the supply and distribution of fuel nationwide.

“Apart from increasing the volume of products distributed to stations across the country, inspection team from the PPMC have been commissioned to go round our operational areas to ensure compliance with laid down rules regarding loading and product evacuation across board to eliminate hoarding and other vices detrimental to the free flow of products,” .

The Corporation also noted that the initiative to ensure zero fuel queues had been bolstered with the approval by the Federal Government for the immediate payment of 413 billion Naira to oil marketers as outstanding payment for subsidy claims.

Ok that’s fine…but what about MONITORING. That has been a huge problem lately.

Earlier in the week, the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, had warned that that any petroleum products depots and filling stations owners engaged in sharp practices would be fined heavily and also prosecuted for economic sabotage.

Director of the DPR, Mordecai Ladan, warned oil marketers against products diversion, hoarding, pump manipulation and selling products above government approved prices.

According to Ladan, any petroleum products marketer found to be under-dispensing or selling products above government regulated prices shall be suspended for a minimum of two months.

He said, “Marketers caught diverting or hoarding the products for profiteering shall be sanctioned with a fine of two million naira and have their operating License revoked and prosecuted “

To this end, he said that all DPR offices nationwide have been directed to step up their monitoring activity and ensure full compliance by marketers.

Now…about the Federal Government’s approval of N413 billion to oil marketers as outstanding payment for subsidy claims.

According to the NNPC, the payment would ensure that there would be no scarcity of the product.

“It is our belief that with the outstanding payment due to Oil Marketers now assured, the marketers and other downstream players will join hands with the NNPC to guarantee that the nation remains wet with petroleum products all year round,” the Corporation said in a statement

This, the Corporation intends to achieve in collaboration with its downstream subsidiary, the pipelines and products marketing company and other players in the supply and distribution of fuel nationwide.

The Vanguard newspaper says it did a little digging. A top management source at the PPPRA, spoke with the paper on the telephone

When asked to justify whether oil marketers were truly owed N470 billion, as reported yesterday, the source said: “Marketers are entitled to their own opinion, just as we are entitled to our own based on the claim papers we have processed.

“What needs to be asked is, at what point are they making the claim because requests are being made on daily basis.”

Marketers said that they are being owed about N470 billion in outstanding subsidy claims from August 1, 2014 till date.

But the PPPRA source noted that “Sometimes, marketers have only just made orders for supply of PMS, and even without dropping one litre of petrol in their tanks, they are already calculating how much they are being owed even without processing their claims.

“So it our duty to verify and certify their claims, on which basis we make recommendations to Finance to pay them.”

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