The meeting between the Federal Government and oil marketers is yet to yield a positive result, according to oil marketers.
On Sunday, November 2nd, oil marketers under the umbrella of Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA) and Independent Petroleum Products Importers Association issued a seven-day ultimatum to the government demanding the payment of the debt or risk a shutdown of all depots and fuel distribution outlets nationwide.
Although government gave an immediate response with an offer of N340 billion promissory notes, which the marketers outrightly rejected, saying it prefers cash.
They insisted they were in need of cash to help them solve the immediate challenge of paying their workers’ outstanding salaries and settle other obligations.
In a bid to forestall another fuel crisis and address concerns by both parties, the Debt Management Office (DMO) convened a meeting on Thursday at the Ministry of Finance headquarters in Abuja.
Other than the various unions of the marketers, government agencies present at the meeting include the finance ministry, DMO, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Budget Office of the Federation, Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation and the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA).
The finance ministry soon issued a statement claiming all parties had agreed on terms of settlement.
The statement was however silent on the amount of money the federal government gas agreed to pay.
The Ministry added that all parties agreed to ensure operations ran smoothly at all petroleum products depots and sales outlets.
The Spokesperson to the Finance Minister, Ella Abechi, updated his previous statement. The statement read;
“The Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA), Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) and Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) with the Federal Government delegation meeting held at the Federal Ministry Finance in Abuja on Thursday, December 6, 2018, agreed that operations at all depots and sales will continue.
“After a meeting held today, Thursday, December 6, 2018, with senior Government officials from the Federal Ministry of Finance, the Debt Management Office, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Budget Office of the Federation, the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation and the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, we are satisfied with the arrangements being made by the Government to settle the claims of petroleum marketers.
“The discussions showed that the Government has considered the concerns and is reviewing the initial process approved by the Government for the settlement. We consider that this shows the Government’s responsiveness to the need for the claims to be settled in a timely manner.
“We hereby wish to reassure the members of the public on the availability of PMS. We urge the public not to panic, as there will be no fuel scarcity.
“The engagement of the two sides will continue on Monday, December 10, 2018.”
Contrary to the Federal Government’s claim, Premium Times in an interview said the Executive Secretary of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), Clement Isong, said;
”I do not know how to explain to you,” Mr Isong said, when asked about the details of the ‘agreement’ announced by the government.
“Basically, the resolution is not a good one. But, we are still engaging government. We are still talking, because we have not arrived at any figure yet. We will still meet next week. There are a lot of details we still have to agree next week,” he added.