The Federal Government Of Nigeria on Wednesday ordered the immediate payment of the N150 billion Petroleum Equalisation Fund owed petroleum marketers in the country.
The directive, which was reportedly given at a meeting between the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, and key players in the downstream sector, sources said, would help to avert fuel scarcity which had become imminent in view of the debt owed marketers.
The money is understood to be the bridging cost for the delivery of petroleum products across the country.
Briefing newsmen, the National Secretary of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Zarma Mustapha, said:
“The meeting had nothing to do with increase in petroleum pump prices. We looked into the issue of diesel and kerosene and as a matter of fact government is tackling the issues.”
“The other issue is the issue of franchise which is the petroleum equalisation fund which marketers are owed petroleum equalisation to the tune of about 150 billion and now the issue has been resolved, the government has directed that our monies must be paid and I am assuring you that with the payment of this money there is no cause for alarm.”
“We are assuring our marketers that they should go back to their normal business as their outstanding will be paid in some few days.”
“The government has instructed the minister of finance to pay the marketers and they have assured us that they will pay and as soon as the payment is done instead of N145 per litre, it can go for as low as N140 per litre. So there should be no worries about increment of petrol.”