The Federal Government has said that in spite of revenue constraints, it has paid the sum of N156 billion to oil marketers.
According to the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the payment has two components. The first consists of the cash backing of the N100 billion IOU which the marketers were given in March. The second is N56 billion in interest payments for the marketers according to the PPPRA template.
This leaves a balance of N98 billion certified by PPPRA as the amount owed the markers.
She said the N156 billion is the latest in a series of significant payments made to the oil marketers within the last five months. These include over N300 billion in two instalments in December last year and N31 billion in interest differentials recently. In all, oil marketers have received over N500 billion within the past five months.
The Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance has therefore, urged the marketers to appreciate the efforts being made by the Federal Government to meet up with their payments and reciprocate with some understanding of the situation of Nigerians who should not suffer more. She urged the marketers to sustain the distribution and supply of fuel to end the suffering of Nigerians at fuel stations.
“The Federal Government has made maximum effort, in spite of the well-known fact that the fall in oil prices has significantly reduced national revenues, to prioritize payments to marketers. For the sake of Nigerians who are bearing the brunt of fuel scarcity, the marketers should reciprocate in the spirit of dialogue and cooperation in which we have always tried to engage them”, she said.