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APC Not Responsible For Fuel Scarcity – Okonjo-Iweala

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Contrary to claims by the Peoples Democratic Party’s national chairman, Adamu Mu’azu and the median director of PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode that the current fuel scarcity biting the nation hard was orchestrated by the opposition All Progressives Congress, the minister of finance and the coordinating minister of the economy, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala has attributed the scarcity to pipeline vandalism and logistics and not payment of claims to marketers.
Okonjo-Iweala who spoke to journalists in Abuja, said the queues were due more to pipeline vandalism and logistics and not payment of claims to marketers.
Her words: “Government is very concerned about the fuel queues which have appeared in Lagos, Abuja and other parts of the country. As Nigerians can attest, the Petroleum Ministry and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, have worked very hard to give out the message that there is no need for panic buying and that it is trying to reduce the queues to the barest minimum.
“We are working with them and in fact, the marketers are coming to meet with us tomorrow (today). We have also agreed to pay the interest rate and foreign exchange differentials.
“Tomorrow (today) we will be making part of that payment when the marketers are here and on the outstanding balance, we will be issuing SDN (Sovereign Debt Notes) to them so that the banks will know that the government has undertaken the obligations.”
According to the minister, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has also spoken with the banks so that all marketers who want to open Letters of Credit could do so, adding: “We have cleared with the marketers that this is how we will go about it.”
Scarcity not about payment issues—Okonjo-Iweala
Okonjo-Iweala said last December, the government paid N320.8 billion debt owed marketers. The money, she revealed, came from Excess Crude Account, which she said “shows the seriousness with which the government takes issues about payments to marketers.”
She insisted that the current fuel crisis was not over payments to marketers, adding: “I want to emphasize that contrary to some unfounded speculations, the queues are not caused by payment issues. As you know, we paid the marketers a total of N320.8 billion from the Excess Crude account in two instalments in December last year.
“This underscores the fact that we are taking payment of marketers very seriously indeed. We’ve been in constant touch and talking with the marketers and a week ago we reached an agreement with them on their core concerns which we have addressed.”
The minister commended members of the Major Oil Marketers Assoaiciation of Nigerian, MOMAN, who she described as very cooperative and urged Nigerians to question the motive of others who even refused to open Letters of Credit, LCs.
She said: “It is clear that while the union and most members have been cooperative, some of their members are not. Some of these people have even refused to open LCs to facilitate their payments.
Fani-Kayode and Adamu Mu’azu had earlier attributed the scarcity to the APC stating it was orchestrated to mar president Jonathan’s second term bid.

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