FG to pay major oil marketers N156 billion today
The Federal Government of Nigeria will on Thursday pay a total of N156 billion to major petroleum marketers to defray the I Owe You (IOUs) entered into with them and their interest rate differentials, the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has said.
Okonjo-Iweala, who spoke at the Conference of Directors General of Customs of the West African Region of the World Customs Organization in Abuja, told journalists that the necessary signings would be done immediately.
“So as I leave here I am gong to sign for them (major marketers) to get another N156 billion : N100billion in the IoU which we will issue them , I think tomorrow, and N56billion in interest rate differential,” she said.
According to the minister, the Federal Government had last year paid N350billion to the marketers in addition to N21billion that was also paid as foreign exchange differentials.
She said, “Let me tell you. On the issue of the oil marketers, we have really been working with them. We have been dialoguing with them all along. We paid them N350billion in December. We have paid them N21billion for foreign exchange differential , and by tomorrow (Thursday) we will be paying them the N100billion for which we gave them IoUs as well as their interest rate differentials of N56billion. So I am about to go and sign get that paid.”
Iweala said that there was not doubt that the Federal Government was making frantic efforts at accommodating the oil marketers despite the revenue paucity in the country.
The marketers, according to her, were part of the Federal Government priority for the citizenry not to suffer.
The minister however urged them to reciprocate by being patriotic Nigerians and also cooperate with the government.
She said: “And I think Nigerians will agree that the government is making maximum efforts to accommodate the oil marketers. They are also Nigerians, and they also need to cooperate with us.
So as I leave here I am gong to sign for them to get another N156 billion : N100b in the IoU which we will issue them , I think tomorrow, and N56billion in interest rate differential.
” In this very difficult environment where revenue are constrained we are doing we are doing our maximum. We have prioritized them because we don’t want Nigerians to suffer . Now, they too have to cooperate with Nigeria, isn’t it? And and also be good and patriotic citizens.”
Asked what was happening to Federal Government workers salaries, the minister said that: “As I speak, salaries are being paid. So between today and tomorrow, you will get your alert.”
The said payment accounted for the scarcity of petroleum products in the country in the past few months.
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