Senators yesterday approved the payment of over N348 billion outstanding oil subsidy claims to 74 petroleum marketers.
The upper chamber gave the approval following its adoption of the interim report of its Committee on Petroleum (Downstream) on the Promissory Note Programme and a Bond Issuance to Settle Inherited Local Debts and Contractual Obligations to Petroleum marketers.
The breakdown of the payment, according to the report, showed that of the N348 billion, 55 oil marketers are to receive N275,750,415,108; 19 others will get N73,452,639,866.
The committee recommended that 55 oil marketers should be paid 100 percent of their claims, while 65 percent claims should be paid to 19 marketers due to some irregularities in their claims.
The Senate asked the committee to continue its engagement with the Ministry of Finance, oil marketing companies, Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) and other stakeholders in order to update all the outstanding liabilities and clear all outstanding debts, interests accrued and forex differential once and for all.
Chairman of the committee, Senator Kabir Marafa said that although marketers made claims to the tune of N670,497,543,15, as of June 30, 2017, the PPPRA verified and approved the sum of N429,054,203,228 to the Federal Ministry of Finance.
Marafa noted that while the verified figure was approved by the Federal Executive Council, further verification by the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit (PICA) reduced the amount to N407,255,263,288.
He also said that continuous delay of the approval of the promissory note request would affect the liquidity of the Oil Marketing Companies and undermine their crucial role in the development of the economy.
Some of the oil marketers and the amount approved for them are: Aiteo N4,988,199,360; Conoil N5,588,285,132; Forte Oil N15,480,445,907; Bovas N5,953,684,258; Capital Oil N8,339,052,402; Mobil N8,282,363,478; MRS Oil and Gas N20,948,270,002; Oando N14,972,585,600; Total N21,569,996,843.