|Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke
The federal government has approved the payment of about N166 billion to petroleum marketers as reimbursement for outstanding subsidy claims on they petrol they imported into the country.
A statement from the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) yesterday in Abuja stated that the payment for batch I to part of batch M in the payment schedule has been effected.
Payments to the other part of batch M, and batches N, O, and P which amount to N105 billion are however still at the Debt Management Office (DMO), awaiting payment.
The government’s payment of the outstanding subsidy claims has also coincided with its approval of Quarter 1 (Q1), 2015 petrol import allocation to marketers.
The PPPRA statement explained that the part payment is geared towards ensuring stability in the fuel supply as well as to encourage banks and other financial institutions, who were hitherto, reluctant in issuing letters of credit to finance petroleum products importation.
It noted that the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, had approved the release of Q1 2015 allocation to marketers for the importation of petroleum products into the country.
PPPRA said the early release of the import allocation was in furtherance of the government’s resolve at ensuring continuous and robust products supply in the system, adding that it is aimed at sustaining the serenity in the downstream industry.
The Executive Secretary of the PPPRA, Mr. Farouk Ahmed, in the statement called on motorists not to engage in panic buying of petroleum.
He stated: “There is ample supply of petroleum products in the country and discharges and truck-out had continued in spite of the holidays and the festive periods.”
The PPPRA further explained that apart from facilitating an improved national petrol supply and stock build-up, the latest effort was also to enable marketers make adequate preparations towards products sourcing and importation early in 2015.
It attributed all the proactive initiatives put in place at ensuring products availability across the nation, to the support and direction of Alison-Madueke, adding that on its part, it was committed to prompt processing of documents for all imported products duly brought into the country.
The agency stated that Alison-Madueke had commenced a regime of early release of quarterly petrol allocations in addition to supplementary allocations to complement the national demand.
It said the widely-applauded early approvals, apart from providing additional imports to supplement the prevailing stock level in the system, was now responsible for the sustained availability of petroleum products across the country at regulated prices.