The Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) On Monday appealed to the Federal Government to pay the N130.7 billion outstanding subsidy debts owed its members nationwide.
The Chairman of the association, Mr Andrew Gbodume, made the appeal while briefing Energy Correspondents in Lagos on the state of the indebtedness and its negative implication for member-companies operations over the past months.
Gbodume lamented that that the delay in payment of the debts had affected the mutual relationship of members of the association with their banks in sourcing for loans, adding that government should expedite action on the payment of the debt since audit and agreement had been completed on the debt since July.
He said: “Since inception, MOMAN has progressively gained a reputation in the Nigerian petroleum industry as a key player. But, one of the major challenges the downstream petroleum sector is still facing is the non-payment of the long outstanding fuel subsidy to oil marketers.
“We appreciate the efforts of the National Assembly, but the non-payment creates a significantly negative impact on the operational efficiency of the downstream sector of the oil industry.
“It has, thereby placed severe strain on its efforts to continually invest in the infrastructure and raise industry standards. We hope that the debts will be paid in full to the oil marketers as soon as possible,” the MOMAN chairman added.
Gbodume maintained that marketers were working tirelessly with the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) to ensure fuel availability and prevent fuel scarcity that rocked the nation in December 2017.
The downstream top player canvassed the need to move away from the present arrangement because downstream sector needed investment, pointing out that banks are not willing to lend to downstream sector because of the present arrangement.
On fuel importation situation currently, Gbodume disclosed that only NNPC was importing petroleum products, while members of the association were collecting products from state-owned oil company and paying within two weeks.
He clarified: “No MOMAN member is importing petroleum products, because no bank is ready to loan us due to our inability to pay the outstanding debts owed by marketers.”
The MOMAN chairman commended the PPMC for its efforts over the years in ensuring consistent product supplies.
According to him, PPMC has demonstrated its resolve to guaranteeing a non-repeat of the scarcity, which the nation experienced at the end of 2017 for which it deserves commendation.
Gbodume disclosed further that the association was currently engaging petroleum drivers and transporters to ensure the use of the truck loading bay provided to ease free flow of traffic at Apapa Bridge.
This is just as he confirmed that MOMAN had created a committee to self regulate its members by collaborating with the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to improve minimum transportation standards in the downstream operations.
He expatiated: “MOMAN began in the early 2000s as coordination, a marketers operations committee, whose role was to liaise with NNPC for petroleum product supply and distribution throughout Nigeria.
“However, in the past 10 to 15 years, the downstream oil industry has been on a downward spiral and lack of investment in the country’s infrastructure.
“Others are quality of the distribution network, the changes in international petroleum economic, simply the inability to keep abreast with Health Safety Security Environment and Quality (HSSEQ) development in other part of the world,” the MOMAN leader added.
MOMAN is a downstream oil and gas marketing companies, comprising 11Plc (formerly Mobil Oil Nigeria), Conoil, OVH Energy Marketing Limited, Forte Oil, MRS and Total.