Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), importers and storage companies thursday, said the federal government was owing them more than N200 billion ($1 billion) in subsidy payments.
The members of MOMAN, which include Total SA, Oando Plc, Forte Oil Plc and Exxon Mobil Corp’s local unit, are owed about 40 per cent of that amount as at the end of March, with more costs incurred since then, the executive secretary, MOMAN, Thomas Olawore, stated.
This revelation has led to the chaos in the oil industry which has had ripple effect in other sectors of the economy.
The traffic snarl caused by the legion of tankers seeking to load petroleum product in Apapa for instance has caused incalculable discomfort to motorists in Lagos.
Yesterday, the Association of Nigeria Licence Customs Agents (ANLCA) said the nation was losing about N5 billion daily on account of the traffic lockdown on the Apapa-Oshodi expressway.
A “recent meeting” with the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala “was not conclusive,” Olawore said in an interview in Lagos.
Nigerians have faced long queues for fuel in recent weeks across Africa’s biggest crude producer and economy, which relies on imports to meet more than 70 per cent of domestic needs. The government guarantees cheaper fuel by subsidizing gasoline, paying marketers the difference between the landing price of oil and the fixed domestic price.
Nigeria, which announced last week that it had already borrowed more than half the amount it budgeted for the full year, is struggling to deal with a drop of 38 per cent in the price of crude in the past year.
Nigeria’s President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, will take over from President Goodluck Jonathan on May 29, causing anxiety among creditors in the downstream industry that the new government may take longer to remedy the funding shortage, Olawore said.