FG to pay oil marketers N30b for forex losses

Ngozi-Okonjo-IwealaNigerian Oil marketers are to get N30 billion compensation for the losses they recorded as a result of naira devaluation.

This payment is in addition to the N185 billion debts owed the marketers, which the government has also agreed to offset with the issuance of the Sovereign Debt Note (SDN) by the Debt Management Office (DMO).

Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala broke the news yesterday after a meeting in Abuja with the oil marketers on the petrol scarcity that seemed to be easing yesterday in major cities.

Apart from the marketers and depot owners, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) joined the ministry at the meeting.

The minister, who raised the hope that the fuel shortage will end by the weekend, said the Federal Government had addressed all contentious issues with the marketers, such as foreign exchange rate differentials for which the N30billion will be paid to mitigate their losses.

Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala said the Federal Government had been in talks with the marketers in the last 10 days, adding: “President Goodluck Jonathan wants Nigerians to know that he is working on the situation to resolve the issue in the shortest possible time. At the Federal Executive Council meeting today (yesterday), the issue was discussed in terms of pushing forward and making sure things get back to normal.”

She urged the marketers to be patriotic in their dealings with the government as the issue affects all and sundry, praising Nigerians for their patience and promising that the crisis would be over in the next couple of days.

CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele said the apex bank had met with banks and oil marketers to resolve all the contending issues associated with credit facilities, adding that in the last one week, over $500 million worth of Letters of Credit had been opened by banks on behalf of the marketers.

He urged any marketer who is experiencing delay in its Letters of Credit to alert the CBN, promising to ensure the issue is resolved amicably.

Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) Executive Secretary Obafemi Olawore said the queues will ease off in the next few days as 495 trucks of fuel to Lagos, Abuja and other places.

According to him, massive movement of fuel in the last three days had been complemented with the importation of three cargoes of petrol following the agreements secured with the CBN and the Finance ministry.

He said: “On Monday, major marketers moved 132 truckloads of fuel to Lagos while 87 truckloads were moved to Abuja, and this is exclusive to the quantity moved by the NNPC, independent marketers and other marketers.

”On Tuesday, 137 trucks were moved to Lagos while 139 trucks were moved to Abuja. You can see that the amount we moved to Abuja was far more than the quantity we moved on Monday. It normally takes between three and four days to transport fuel from Lagos to Abuja; hence we believe the queues will ease off by weekend, latest.”

He added that “our actions are deliberate, to ensure that the queues vanish and normalcy returns. I want to tell Nigerians that tougher days are over; normalcy is expected to return pretty soon”. -TheNation

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