Platts: Fuel marketers threaten to halt Nigeria gasoline imports over unpaid subsidy

Nigerian oil products marketers said Wednesday they may halt further gasoline imports into the country because they are owed subsidies totalling Naira 190 billion ($1.2 billion) from first and second quarters imports.

The marketers, under the umbrella body Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, or MOMAN said in a statement the government had reneged on the agreed payment scheduled of 45 days after the discharge and submission of import claims, resulting in marketers incurring huge debts on bank charges.

“The Petroleum Support Fund (PSF) payment schedule, which was ratified by all stakeholders, stipulates that subsidy payment should be made within 45 days, after which the banks would start charging interest from the 46th day,” the group said.

“Marketers may be forced to stop importation if the necessary payments are not paid,” it added.

MOMAN members include the local downstream arms of Total and ExxonMobil, as well Oando, Conoil and MRS. They account for more than 40% of the total gasoline imported by Nigeria.

Nigeria’s Finance ministry said July 3 it had paid Naira 45 billion to oil products marketers whose import documents had been properly screened and verified.

But the marketers said the payment only covered cargoes imported in November 2013. They said payments for cargoes brought in December 2013, and between January and June 2014, remained outstanding.

Nigeria imports around 1 million mt/month of gasoline, and pays importers a subsidy to cover the difference between the landing cost and the regulated domestic pump price, currently fixed at Naira 97/liter.

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Source: Platts, 2014

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