The Federal Government is owing oil marketers N300billion in oil subsidy, Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO), Forte Oil Nigeria, Akin Akinfemiwa, has said
Akinfemiwa spoke before the Hon. Abdullahi Mahmud Gaya-headed House of Representatives Adhoc committee investigating alleged huge debts and criminal,act of sabotage by major oil marketers in connivance with Products Pipeline Marketing Company (PPMC).
He told the investigative hearing committee that his firm is being owed N13.8 billion and owes PPMC N5.9 billion from the oil lifted.
He said: “From our records, as at January 31, out indebtedness was to the tune of N5.995 billion . But we’re being owed N13.8 billion from subsidy. This is part of the over N300 billion the government is owing different oil companies.”
The Forte Oil boss said government is however trying to,settle the debt.
He said: “So far, the government, led by the Chief of Staff to the president invited us to a meeting with other stakeholders to address two issues. One was to continue petrol supply and two was for Federal Government to pay its debts.
“Under the debts, a committee was set up to settle them. The total stands at over N300 billion. Right now, we can’t even do much, but we don’t want a situation where there will be queues in the country.
“If you look at the N13.8 billion, we’re the ones being owed about N8 billion. We have also written to the Senate in recent times where we asked them to assist us with the payments of subsidy. The banks are not even borrowing as at now. We even paid about N5 billion as at the end of December.”
In line with the mandate given the committee by the House, which is to recover the huge debts oil markers owe the government, the committee wanted to know how and when the N5.9 billion Forte Oil is owing the government would be paid
Bode Ayorinde, a member of the committee said: “ From this paper, you’re owing N5.955 billion. Did your agreement give room for debts? What’s the circle of the debts? What is the security for the debts? What is the interest agreed to be paid on outstanding debts? Do you sell on credits to those who buy from you?”
Henry Nwaoba, also a member of the committee said in order to verify Forte Oil’s claims, t here is need to,have the details of the company’s credit dealers.
“Do you have bank loans taken to assist you do retail business?” He asked.
Akinfemiwa told the lawmakers that there was a 15 days debt payment agreement on oil lifting.
He said: “Even if you lift N500 billion worth of oil, you need to pay within 15 days. Ideally, we should have reviewed the agreement terms after the fuel price increase from N87.5 to N145.’