By; Sunday Ode, Abuja.
The Federal Government on Wednesday. gave an order for the payment of an outstanding. N150billion Petroleum Equalisation Fund owed petroleum marketers in the country.
The order was given at a meeting between the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari and key players in the downstream sector.
The N150 billion is said to be the bridging cost for the delivery of petroleum products across the country.
Speaking after the closed-door meeting which lasted for about two hours the National Secretary of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) Zarma Mustapha told journalists that after the meeting that government has approved that payment should commence immediately.
He said: “The meeting had nothing to do with increase in petroleum pump prices
“we looked into the issue of diesel and kerosene and as a matter of fact government is tackling the issues
“The other issue is the issue of franchise which is the petroleum equalisation fund which marketers are owed petroleum equalisation tothe tune of about 150 billion and now the issue has been resolved, the government has directed that our monies must be paid and I am assuring you that with the payment of this money there is no cause for alarm”
the National Secretary of IPMAN continued: “We are assuring our marketers that they should go back to their normal business as their outstanding will be paid in some few days” .
He added that tomorrow the stakeholders will also meet with financial authorities and then the payment will commence hopefully before the week runs out.
He maintained that there would not be an increase in pump prices of
Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) after the payment as some filling stations
will sell for N140 as against N145 per litter.
“The government has instructed the minister of finance to pay the marketers and they have assured they will pay and as soon as the payment is done instead of N145 per litre, it can go for as low as N140 per litre” the scribe said.
“So there should be no worries about increment of PMS”.
On the 11th of May last year, the government increased the pump price for PMS from N97 to N145.
It was gathered that the meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari’s Chief of Staff and the downstream sector first held on Tuesday and reconvened on Wednesday to take the final decision.