The Federal Government on Tuesday expressed concern over the long queues of motorists at petrol filling stations in Lagos, Abuja and other parts of the country, stating that a Sovereign Debt Note of N100bn had been issued by the Debt Management Office to settle part of the subsidy arrears owed oil marketers.
The Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, confirmed the issuance of the SDN through a statement issued by her Special Adviser on Communications, Mr. Paul Nwabuikwu. The minister sympathised with Nigerians whose lives were being disrupted by the scarcity of petrol and said the government was working hard to end the scarcity within the shortest time possible.
Specifically, she said an agreement had been reached with the marketers’ union that N100bn out of the outstanding N185bn subsidy debt be paid. The minister said as part of the agreement, the government would not only pay the costs that the marketers had incurred, but also the interests and foreign exchange differentials.
In order to facilitate the payment, the minister said the Central Bank of Nigeria had given approvals for banks to issue letters of credit to oil marketers. The minister said that contrary to speculations, the queues were not caused by payment issues, adding that the government paid the marketers a total of N320.8bn from the Excess Crude Account in two instalments last December.
We really hope so …