As Hot as the oil industry has become, Oil marketers have given the Federal Government a seven-day ultimatum, to settle outstanding debts totalling N800billion.
The marketers, comprising Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA) and Independent Petroleum Products Importers (IPPIs), said failure to meet the deadline would also force its members to disengage workers from depots and shut down depots across the country.
The marketers said they have resolved to stop operations at the depots if the Federal Government does not take the necessary steps to pay the outstanding debt within seven days.
A letter containing the ultimatum has been served to the relevant government bodies such as the Debt Management Office (DMO), the Minister of Finance, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Petroleum (Downstream), the Department of State Services (DSS) and the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources.
Patrick Etim, Legal Adviser to IPPI said marketers have no choice than to ask their workers to stay at home over unpaid salary arrears due to huge subsidy debts owed by the government.
“The only way to salvage the situation is for government to pay the oil marketers the outstanding debts through cash option instead of (the) promissory note being proposed.
“As I speak, nothing has been done several months after assurances received by (the) government saying it would pay off the outstanding debts.
“The oil marketers have requested that forex differential and interest component of government’s indebtedness to marketers be calculated up to December 2018 and be paid within next seven days from the date of the letter sent to the government,’’ he said.