In order to arm-twist government and collect more money, indicted marketers instigate fuel scarcity, government claims.
Petrol marketers, who have been indicted for corruption in the 2011 fuel subsidy scam, are responsible for the current fuel scarcity in the country, the Federal Government said on Wednesday.
The Minister of State for Finance, Yerima Ngama, who made the allegation said that contrary to marketers’ claims that they are owed subsidy payments, government pays fuel subsidy to genuine marketers as at when due.
The minister said that only claims by marketers who have been recommended for further investigation by the Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede Presidential Committee have not been paid.
“Payments or sanctions to this category of marketers would be determined by the outcome of investigations,” he said.
Marketers had earlier warned that they will seize supply of products because the Federal Government had failed to pay them for fuel imports.
The minister said the government does not owe “any marketer whose claims had been verified by the appropriate authorities.”
“Between April and May 2012, Batches D/12 and E/12 involving 14 oil marketers with a claim of N17 billion were fully settled through the issuance of Sovereign Debt Notes and other relevant documentation,” the minister said.
“In addition, since the directive by the Coordinating Minister to the DMO to continue payments of all verified claims, N25.6 billion worth of claims has been fully settled with the issuance of Sovereign Debt Notes.
“Against this background, it is clear that the strike was instigated mainly by marketers who were indicted by the Aig-Imoukhuede Committee which investigated fuel subsidy payments,” the minister said.
Mr. Ngama said the indicted marketers plan to blackmail the government.
“Their obvious intention is to blackmail the Federal Government in order to escape sanctions for the crimes they have committed” the minister said.
He added that that the government would not succumb to the blackmail.