Nigeria may soon experience yet another fuel crisis as major and independent oil marketers have vowed to suspend their operations in days ahead over the continued delay in payment of their fuel subsidy claims by the Federal Government. In addition, the alleged plans by government to release only N21 billion monthly for subsidy payment has pitched the marketers against the government.
The marketers under the aegis of Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPPMA), Jetty and Petroleum Tank Farm Owners of Nigeria (JEPTFON) and Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) have resolved to shut down their facilities nation-wide should government fail to commence the payment of their outstanding entitlements.
Nigeria’s daily fuel consumption stood at about 60,000 metric tons (mt) per day, but was reduced to about 35,000 mt, in a move, which according to the Petroleum Minister, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, was aimed at ensuring transparency and efficiency in the fuel import scheme. However, the marketers argued that with the current daily consumption of about 35,000mt per day, it means that about 1,050,000 mt tons of premium motor spirit is consumed monthly, which translates to about $1,050,000,000 monthly at an average price of $1,000 per metric ton. They noted that the subsidy element, which is about 35 percent, will bring the average amount per month to about $367,500,000 (N60,637,500,000), pointing out that with the new payment method, it will take government almost three months to pay one month claim.
The Presidential Committee on Fuel Subsidy Payment headed by the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Access Bank Plc, Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhede, had in its report noted that both the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the marketers made total claims of N2,109,386,944,946.92 in 2011, with the NNPC claiming N981,734,423,649.56, while the oil marketing and trading companies submitted claims of N1,127,652,521,297.36.