July 24 (Xinhua) -- Nigerian oil marketers on Tuesday threatened to shut down their operations within 48 hours if government failed to pay the subsidy claims to marketers.
President of Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPPMA) Dapo Abiodun gave the ultimatum to reporters in Lagos, Nigeria's commercial hub. The government's failure to pay all verified and outstanding subsidy claims would lead to the members to suspend supply and distribution of petroleum products nationwide, Abiodun said. He told reporters that if in 48 hours the government failed to pay the subsidy, the country are going to see a nationwide operations pending of the oil marketers.
According to Abiodun, the decision of government to suspend indefinitely all verified and outstanding subsidy payments since January had exposed its members to financial crisis. Banks were charging marketers about 1. 8 nairas (0.011 U.S. dollars) as interest on a liter of petrol per month due to nonpayment of the subsidy claims by government, which cost the members about 30 million dollars to import 30,000 tons of petrol, he said, adding that nonpayment of subsidy had resulted to huge debts due to funds borrowed from banks. According to him, the bank loans used to finance importation of petroleum products have continued to accrue interest over and above 45 days. Abiodun said the situation had made it imperative for marketers to demand for the payment of all accrued interests over and above the contractual period. He said that the association was not against the ongoing investigation of the 2011 subsidy claims by marketers but requested for the full payment of 2012 subsidy claims so far. (Xinhua)