Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Oil Marketers Demand Payment of N250 Billion Subsidy Arrears by FG



Nigeria: Marketers Demand Payment of N250 Billion Subsidy Arrears By Govt

The Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) has pleaded with the Federal Government to pay its members outstanding subsidy claims of N250 billion for 2014.

Besides, the association has directed all its members to adjust their pump price to reflect the new price of petrol announced by the government.

Meanwhile, a poll conducted by NOIPolls to evaluate the perception of Nigerians towards kerosene consumption, purchase, usage, and pricing has revealed that majority of Nigerians (97%) buy Dual Purpose Kerosene (DPK) popularly known as kerosene above the official price of N50 per litre. Only a small proportion (2%) confirmed they bought the product at the official price.

The poll further revealed that almost eight in 10 Nigerians (77%) are unaware of the official price of kerosene, demonstrating that the subsidy enjoyed by Nigerians on petrol has not really impacted kerosene. Interestingly, more female (83%) than male (70%) respondents are unaware of the official price of kerosene, even though more females actually buy and make use of it for cooking (97%).

An assessment of the use of kerosene in Nigeria revealed that 65% of Nigerians buy kerosene, and it is mainly used for cooking (96%).

"Affordability, availability and convenience play a great role in the preference of kerosene as a means for cooking, over other choices such as cooking gas, charcoal or firewood. "

The findings clearly demonstrate that most of the marketers do not sell kerosene at the official price and this calls for more strict regulation and closer monitoring by regulatory organisations to ensure that Nigerians enjoy the subsidy on kerosene at the official price. "

Also, awareness needs to be created by the government on the official price of kerosene, especially in the rural areas. This can be done through sensitization events, radio jingles and television adverts amongst other means, and tailored in the major languages of each region", the poll concluded.

The Executive Secretary of MOMAN, Obafemi Olawore, told journalists in Lagos yesterday that the claims include N155 billion outstanding subsidy and N97 billion outstanding payment for interest and foreign exchange. He said prompt payment of the claims is necessary to enable oil marketers to continue to import petroleum products into the country.

Reacting to claims by the Federal Government that it had paid all subsidy arrears, Olawore stated: "The N166 billion paid to marketers last year was only a part payment of 2014 subsidy arrears and that was the only money the marketers got from government last year. "

Source: The Guardian via All Africa

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