Another round of fuel scarcity may be loading in the country soon as oil marketers have issued a seven-day ultimatum, demanding that the Federal Government settle the outstanding debts totaling N800 billion, failing which depots would cease operation across the country.
The marketers, comprising Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association and Independent Petroleum Products Importers, said failure to meet the deadline would force its members to disengage workers from depots.
Confirming the seven-day notice, Patrick Etim, Legal Adviser to IPPI told the News Agency of Nigeria that banks have taken over investments and assets of oil marketers over unpaid debts. According to Etim, marketers have no choice that to ask their workers to stay at home over unpaid salary arrears due to huge subsidy debts owed by the government.
“The only way to salvage the situation is for government to pay the oil marketers the outstanding debts through cash option instead of promissory note being proposed. As I speak, nothing has been done several months after assurances received by government saying it would pay off the outstanding debts.
The oil marketers have requested that forex differential and interest component of government’s indebtedness to marketers be calculated up to December 2018 and be paid within next seven days from the date of the letter sent to the government,’’ he said.