The Senate has urged the federal government to pay outstanding fuel subsidy arrears to oil marketers within the next two weeks.
The resolution, one of four, is the latest move to avert a looming strike by the marketers who issued a seven-day ultimatum on Sunday, December 2.
Under the umbrella bodies comprising Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA) and Independent Petroleum Products Importers (IPPIs), the marketers said failure to meet the deadline would force their members to disengage workers from depots.
In a motion on Thursday, chairman Senate Committee on Downstream, Kabiru Marafa, said there is an urgent need to avert looming crisis in fuel supply due to non-payment of accrued subsidy arrears to oil marketers.
“The Senate is aware that the federal government owed oil marketers subsidy arrears accruing from 2006 which led to the request by the president to the national assembly for approval of the establishment of a promissory note programme and bond issuance to settle inherited local debt and contractual obligations of which the subsidy arrears fall within.
“The Senate also notes that the debt have forced some marketers out of market while most of the marketers are currently being subjected to marinal injunctions.
“The Senate recalls that the National Assembly processed and passed the president’s request on Wednesday 18 and Tuesday 24 July 2018 respectively.
“The Senate observes that after the passage of the executive request by the national assembly, the Debt Management Office introduced very stringent measures for the issuance of the promissory note to include but not limited to; document reviewed by an international accounting firm, bonds to be issued in phases on the basis of discount with 10 years duration that is not interest bearing without a fixed date for the issuance and reverse option for issuance of the note.
“The Senate also observe that the procedure of document review by an international accounting form after it was authenticated by the presidential initiative for continuous audit approved by FEC and passed NASS is a wrong process,” he read, from a prepared motion.
Mr Marafa noted that subjecting the payment to another set of rules after the presidential and National Assembly consent amounts to a “deliberate attempt to sabotage the government’s effort.”
He said the stringent rules of the DMO forced marketers to object to the processes and resolved to giving ultimatum to pay and revert to agreement made at a meeting with the vice president, Yemi Osinbajo, in June 2017.
He added that the debt profile has continued to increase, due to forex differentials and interest rates accrued. ‘As we are speaking today, the debt profile according to the marketer is nearing one trillion naira. Unless this matter is looked into seriously, the debt profile will keep rising,’ he said.
The lawmaker noted that the strike, if hatched, may lead to artificial fuel scarcity, which may span through the election period.
Senate leader, Ahmed Lawan, blamed the situation on previous government.
He alleged that those who are laying claim to the subsidy are allies of the previous government.
“The N429 billion approved by FEC and endorsed by the National Assembly, we know where the money is going to. We know those who helped…We know there are people who helped the previous government but we never cared. Our concern is the ordinary people.”
On his part, Yahaya Abdulahi, a senator, alleged that those within the present government are the ones sabotaging it.
“I thought the money would have been paid since July but for the issue to come here again, it means …whoever is behind the non-payment does not mean well for this country.”
His position was corroborated by Barnabas Gemade who posited that the issue has gone beyond National Assembly input.
“A matter that has passed the required procedure and the only remaining duty is that of implementation and all agencies responsible for that are under (the) executive and we come here to do what is not our responsibility, worrying on who has not implemented.
“Is it the DMO that is stopping the payment, or the Central Bank or Ministry of Finance? All those do not answer to the National Assembly. I do not see why we should come here to urge the executive to do its work.”
After a long deliberation which centred mostly on shifting blames to government agencies delaying the payment, the lawmakers made four resolutions.
They urged the oil marketers to, as a matter of public interest, rescind their decision on the ultimatum to allow the federal government more time to look into their demand, engage with the DMO to determine an appropriate financial instrument for the repayment of the debt.
The senators also urged the federal government to engage marketers and agree on outstanding liabilities to put an end to these subsidy claims and direct all concerned agencies to immediately pay the subsidy arrears as approved by Federal Executive Council and passed by the National Assembly.
Wrong Giving Can Make You Poor — Reno Omokri
Reno Omokri in his Nugget on Friday corrected the popular notion that giving can never make you poor.
The ex- aide to former President Goodluck Jonathan said that wrong giving can actually make one poor. Read below…
“It is a lie that no one has become poor by giving. Giving can make you rich, depending on who you give to.
For instance, you can never be poor if you give to God, your parents and the poor.
However, there are very many men who became poor by giving to girlfriends. A man has no obligation to look after his girlfriend.” He wrote.
Giving money to a girl you sleep with makes her more appropriately a prostitute, not a ‘friend’ #RenosNuggets
Polls: Beware of Voodoo Dollars in Circulation, EFCC Warns Nigerians
…Takes Campaign to BDC Operators
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Thursday, February 21, 2019 took its sensitization campaign to Bureaux de Change, BDC operators at the Wuse Zone 4 Office in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.
The EFCC team, which was led by ADC Aisha Larai Musa, Head, EFCC’s Creative Communications Unit, used the opportunity to warn the BDC operators on the dangerous trend of an influx of fake Dollar notes now in circulation.
Advising the operators to be at alert, Musa, urged them to be cautious because “as the electioneering period peaks, you are now a soft target for money laundering and circulation of fake dollar notes”.
Woman shares testimony of how she found snake inside her house where her children slept
A woman recently disclosed on Facebook God saved her children after she found a snake in her house.
The woman, who identified herself as Chisom Chiedozie said she found the snake inside her living room just few hours after she carried her children to their room from the mat they were sleeping on in the same room.
“And you tell me there’s no God abi? just few minutes ago I saw this snake inside our living room. God has a way of saving his children, he is God and not man, this mat was on the floor few hours ago, my kids was laying on it then my kids slept I took them to the their room to sleep, what if the snake pentrated and bite them without me knowing, since they are asleep, what if the Gen is not on? What if I didn’t see it and it crawls inside the bedroom and hide somewhere?
My girl was even on the floor few minutes before we saw it, what would I have told her people, so many what if I swear, lately I enjoy sleeping on the mat cos of the hot weather, God saved me and my family, I can’t thank you enough father.
He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most high shall abide under the shadow of the almighty.”
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