A petroleum marketer, A-Z Petroleum Products Ltd, has asked the House of Representatives to help in recovering N30 billion owed by the Federal Government.
Hafford Udochukwu, the representative of the firm, made the plea on Wednesday while appearing before the House ad hoc committee investigating the daily consumption of petroleum.
Mr Udochukwu said the federal government has a liability of N30 billion after the firm supplied 245.89 million litres of PMS in 2015, 26.27 million litres in 2017 and 26.64 million litres in 2018.
He stated that the government stopped payment in 2017 putting the company out of business. He asked the panel to prevail on the Federal Ministry of Finance to settle the debt.
“We have not been paid since 2017 and because of that we stopped trading in PMS. We are being owed over N30 billion by the government for subsidy differentials and because of that, we have stopped trading.
“We have not been trading on PMS, we are kind of handicapped. Severally (sic), we have written to the ministry. They have paid others but we have not been paid. In fact, we went to court two months ago.
“We are asking the committee to prevail on the Ministry of Finance so that they can pay us the outstanding,’’ he said.
In his ruling, the Chairman of the Committee, Abdulkadir Abdullahi (APC, Kano), asked Mr Udochukwu to supply the committee with relevant documents to help in the intervention.
Meanwhile, another committee investigating subsidy regime from 2013 to 2022 also met to investigate all traders involved in the direct sales and direct purchase deal.
Members of the committee raised concerns on the crude oil for petrol deal when representatives of Hyde Oil appeared before them.
Mark Gbillah (PDP, Benue) lamented that government keeps on giving out crude oil without getting other byproducts aside from PMS.
Mr Gbillah quizzed Abdulwahab Oseni, the representative of Hyde Oil, on the byproducts from crude oil in the DSDP deal.
He said, “There is more value addition in the refining of crude. This is part of the things we have issues with in this country. There is more value to a barrel of crude after refining than when you just sell the barrel. What is happening to the byproducts from our crude?”
Mr Oseni responded that oil marketers involved in the DSDP deal are not involved in refining products.
“In our DSDP contract with NNPC, they did not ask us to refine the product. They did not ask us to give them the value of each of the byproducts,” he said.
He added, “There is no obligation under the DSDP contract for us to refine the petroleum product. As a trading company, we trade the cargos and then we bring the cargoes at the time they asked us.”
Controversy over oil subsidy
The federal government has projected that fuel subsidy is expected to gulp N6.7 trillion in 2023.
The government disclosed this in its draft fiscal strategy paper for 2023 through 2025, presented by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed.
Petrol subsidy is billed to consume N4 trillion in 2022, a major cost for a country running a total annual budget of over N17 trillion, and a projected revenue of N10 trillion.