The federal government on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 agreed to pay outstanding subsidy-related debt to oil marketers as part of efforts to resolve the crisis rocking the sector which has resulted in scarcity.
In a statement by the spokesman of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Yakubu Suleiman, he said; “They agreed to pay the remaining balance last week. Nothing has come yet but maybe this or next week. It’s 159 billion naira” ($800 million)
According to reports, Mr. Suleiman said he was present at a meeting on Thursday, July 2, 2015 with the permanent secretaries of the ministry finance, oil and the Petroleum Product Price Regulatory Agency (PPPRA).
Nigeria, one of Africa’s top producers of crude oil, subsidises gasoline and other fuels. The country must import the bulk of the 40 million litres a day that it consumes owing to a neglected refining system.
An acute fuel shortage crippled Nigeria in April and May as fuel importers shut their depots to press their case. Importers were worried that the new government, elected in March, would not honour the debt.
The presidency did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to review closely the subsidy scheme, which was revealed to have paid out over $6 billion in fraudulent claims in 2012.