The Federal Government has approved the payment of about N166bn to petroleum product marketers as reimbursement for outstanding subsidy claims.
According to sources at the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, the payment was for batch I to part of batch M of the claims.
It was learnt that the other part of batch M, and batches N, O and P, amounting to N105bn, were at the Debt Management Office awaiting payment.
The part payment, according to PPPRA sources, was to ensure stability in fuel supply as well as to encourage banks and other financial institutions, which were hitherto reluctant, to issue letters of credit to the marketers to finance petroleum products’ importation.
This is coming as the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani-Alison Madueke, has approved the release of the first quarter 2015 allocation to marketers for the importation of petroleum products into the country.
A statement issued by the PPPRA stated that the early release of the import allocation list was in furtherance of the government’s resolve to ensure continuous product supply in the system to sustain the relative peace in the downstream industry.
The Executive Secretary, PPPRA, Mr. Farouk Ahmed, said motorists should not engage in panic buying of petroleum products and gave an assurance that there was ample supply of products in the country, adding that “discharges and truck-out have continued in spite of the holidays and the festive period.”