Fuel scarcity: Jonathan orders payment to marketers

President Goodluck Jonathan has directed the Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, to pay all outstanding debts to Petroleum Products Marketers in a bid to end the fuel crisis.

Consequently, the Federal Ministry of Finance has directed the Debt Management Office (DMO), to raise a special Sovereign Debt Note (SDN) of N100 billion to offset the claims.

The Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who revealed the move to pay the outstanding subsidy claims in Abuja on Tuesday, said the debt management agency has already raised the sum.

The development has indeed thrown up the country’s real liquidity situation as she grapples to meet contingent commitments like workers’ salaries and contractual obligations owing to the sharp drop in crude oil prices at the international market.

To assuage the oil marketers, the Finance Minister declared that the Federal Government has concluded arrangement with the banks to bear the interest that has built on their loans as well as pay the differential in exchange rate caused by the drastic loss in the value of the naira in the face of the recent devaluation undertaken by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The Minister explained that the government was undertaking the initiatives because it was worried by the fuel scarcity and wanted it permanently resolved.

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