Fuel Scarcity: FG To Pass N800bn Supplementary Budget For Marketers

By Ikenga Chronicles February 19, 2018

Fuel Scarcity: FG To Pass N800bn Supplementary Budget For Marketers

As the scarcity of fuel continue to linger, there are indications that the Federal Government might send a N800bn supplementary budget to the National Assembly in order to pay fuel marketers’ debt.

This is after the House Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream ) made the call to the FG on Sunday in order to end the scarcity that has left Nigerians in more hardship.

The Chairman of the committee, Mr. Joseph Akinlaja, said it is now obvious to them that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) could not handle the importation of petrol alone to end the crisis.

Akinlaja who feared that the scarcity would persist, said reports at the disposal of the committee suggested that the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association, Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association and the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria were collectively owed N800bn by the government for previous importation.

He added that as a result of the mounting debts, IPMAN, DAPMAN and MOMAN stopped importing products, leaving the NNPC alone to handle the challenge.

Akinlaja also stated that amid the scarcity, the fixing of the pump price of N145 at a time the government itself had admitted that the landing cost of petrol was N171, did not help matters.

He said, “This House has passed several resolutions on fuel scarcity. We have said on countless occasions that our four refineries must work at full capacity. We have said that if it is N145 per litre, enforcement agencies must be able to enforce the price.

“Now, IPMAN, DAPMAN and MOMAN, they said government is owing them N800bn; they are no longer importing. Let the government bring N800bn supplementary budget, we will consider it for this problem to be over.

“Are we going for full deregulation? Let the government come out fully to say they want to deregulate. The House is ready to oblige them on any of these issues to end the scarcity.”

Akinlaja also said another factor to be considered was the rising price of crude oil, which must naturally affect the pump prices of petroleum products because Nigeria was an importer of fuel.

He added, “The way it is, if crude oil price is going up, that is good for us as a country, because we are making more money. But, the other side of it is that we also have to pay more for the imported refined products.

“So, price will continue to be a big issue as long as we rely on importation.”