EFCC
Oil tankers.

Oil marketers have denied reaching an agreement with the Federal Government on the N800 billion subsidy arrears, saying their ultimatum to cease depots operations on Monday remained unchanged.

Concise News reports that the oil marketers had on Dec. 2 gave the federal government seven-day ultimatum to settle outstanding N800 billion subsidy payment debts, failing which they would cease depots operations.

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Also, recall that the Federal Ministry of Finance on Dec. 6 said that the federal government and petroleum marketers had agreed on the settlement of outstanding claims.

While reacting, Executive Secretary, Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPPMAN), Olufemi Adewole, said in a statement in Lagos that offers made by the government failed to meet the legitimate demands of the association.

The statement read: “We refer to the press release from the Federal Ministry of Finance following the meeting with marketers under the aegis of DAPPMAN, MOMAN and IPMAN and most respectfully refute its contents with the following clarifications.

“DAPPMAN reiterates that there was no agreement reached because offers by government failed to meet the legitimate demands of the association and we did not sign the purported document.

“Hence, our ultimatum stands as we cannot continue to borrow from banks to pay staff salaries.

“DAPPMAN’s demands made to the FG through the Honourable Minister of Finance and Debt Management Office was to pay cash and the total sum of indebtedness to marketers within the time frame.

“This was expressed in communications with the government, Ministry and other relevant office.”

According to the marketers, this is to enable them continue in business, pay staff and not rely on facilities from banks which are no longer forthcoming.

“We affirm that of all stakeholders, MOMAN, IPMAN and DAPPMAN that participated in the PSF scheme, DAPPMAN has the largest debt exposure in the downstream sector.

“DAPPMAN has alerted the FG to this dire situation and specifically to the challenge our member companies face, leading to our inability to pay December 2018 salaries to our teeming work force without the immediate settlement of the debts owed by the FG.

“Most unfortunately, this has not been heeded.

“Since government globally is recognised as a continuum, FG is obliged to settle all legitimately incurred and verified Sovereign debts due to marketers promptly,” the oil marketers said.

The marketers stressed that those debts owed to them actually belonged to banks, their shareholders, depositors and other Federal Government Agencies such as PPPRA, PEF-M-B, AMCON.

The marketers said banks, in compliance with extant banking regulations of the CBN, recently swooped on marketers with non-performing loans, taking over their depots and also cutting off any form of trading loans to them.