Oil marketers order shutdown of depots over N800b subsidy debts

Posted by John Ofikhenua, Abuja | 10 December 2018 | 965 times

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•Oil tankers

Depot and Petroleum Products Marketing Association (DAPPMA) yesterday directed its members to shutdown services as from 12 midnight.

A directive from the DAPPMA Executive Secretary, Mr. Olufemi Adewole, sent to members, said the association’s efforts to make the Federal Government pay its N800 billion subsidy debts were not successful.

But, the news came as oil workers sought a quick resolution of the disagreement between the Federal Government and oil marketers over the outstanding fuel subsidy claims.

The oil workers, under the aegis of Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) and the Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), said the resolution would avert another fuel crisis.

Adewole, however, said the association “took the bold step to stop the financial hemorrhage of its members by the painful disengagement of its loyal workforce after three years of engaging the Federal Government in its efforts to secure the payment of all subsidy induced debts owed marketers”.

The DAPPMA Executive Secretary said efforts  made till date have not yielded the desired results, hence the decision to shut down the depots.

He said the association duly notified the Federal Ministry of Finance, the Debt Management Office (DMO) and the Presidency of its challenges in paying workers’ salaries beyond last month.

He added that the association pleaded with the Presidency, DMO and the ministry to no avail to pay the outstanding debts like subsidy, interest, forex differentials with summation calculated up to 31st of this month.

Adewole said as a result of the notice, the association was invited to meetings.

His words: “Further talks to which we are usually invited, which now seem to be their response to follow ups on these debts, never consented to our requests for full cash payment of these debts, hence the regrettable decision we have had to take to let go our loyal staff, who we have sustained through bank facilities at outrageous interest rates.”

The DAPPMA Executive Secretary added: “Premised on our inability to pay December 2018 salaries and to avoid owing staff for work done without any hope of pay, it is hereby agreed that, since our staff have been disengaged, all DAPPMAN member Depots are not in a position to operate and hence will shut down all loading operations at midnight, Sunday December 9, 2018, until Federal Government pays our calculated claims: the remaining subsidy (to few members), forex differential interest incurred up to December 31, 2018.

“This decision is binding on all members of the association and full compliance is expected of every member company of the association. The association shall revert in the same vein with any other directives as might be deemed necessary.”

Oil workers’ leaders yesterday assured that their interests are aligned with Nigerians.

They spoke while addressing reporters after a meeting with officials of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and its subsidiary, the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC), as well as Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) and DAPPMA).

PENGASSAN National President Comrade Francis Johnson, who spoke on behalf of the oil workers, said the association intervened in the crisis to protect the interest of its members as well as that of the country.

•Excerpted from The Nation report

Source: News Express

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