Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
By Ndubuisi Francis
Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Thursday directed the Debt Management Office (DMO) to commence payment to oil marketers with verified claims,backed by supporting Sovereign Debt Notes from the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency (PPPRA).
The directive is coming on the heels of Tuesday’s 48-hour ultimatum issued by the Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPPMA) to the Federal Government to pay all verified and outstanding subsidy claims, faling which its members would suspend the supply and distribution of petroleum products nationwide.
A statement issued by Special Assistant to the minister, Mr. Paul Nwabuikwu, said the directive to commence payment to marketers with verified claims was to reinforce the Federal Government’s determination to sustain the supply of fuel across the country.
Payments based on verified claims resumed after the June meeting of the Federation Accounts Allocations Committee (FAAC) when payments totalling N17 billion were made.
Verification of claims is a major plank of the procedures adopted by the Federal Ministry of Finance for managing fuel subsidy payments in order to forestall over-payments.
In the statement Thursday, Okonjo-Iweala had disclosed that following the report of the Presidential Committee headed by Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, some marketers also owe government significant sums of money, adding that government expects that such debts will be paid.
“Consequent on this, there is no cause for marketers or other stakeholders to go on strike because government is addressing subsidy payment issues in a structured way that protects both the interest of the country and those of genuine marketers,” the statement said.