The National President of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Sanusi Fari has appealed to the Federal Government (FG) to prevail on the management of the Petroleum Equalisation Fund Board (PEF) to settle outstanding debts running into billions of Naira owed its members.
The IPMAN National President who spoke through the publicity secretary of the organization, Ukadike Chinedu, during the weekend in Abuja, lamented that PEF’s failure to reimburse some of their members has impacted negatively on their businesses. He, therefore, called for the scrapping of the agency stressing that it is no longer of any benefit to petroleum product marketers.
He questioned the role of PEF in the new regime of deregulation in the downstream sector.
Describing PEF as a colossal waste, Fari said the bureaucratic bottleneck involved in getting reimbursements from the agency is making it very difficult for their members.
“As I speak with you, PEF is owing some of our members for up to two years without payment. I cannot give an estimate because I don’t have access to their data base, but I know some independent marketers whom they are owing over N300 million as I am talking to you, some over N200 million lasting for a period of up to two years roads,” he said.
But refuting IPMAN’s accusation, PEF’s spokesperson Dr. Goddy Nnaji said such claims are not true. He said the agency does not recognise the said IPMAN chairman and the PRO who raised the issues.
“I don’t know him, and I don’t know the person who spoke to you an Executive of IPMAN. I was at the IPMAN national executive council meeting in Kano last month, where they passed vote of confidence in PEF,” he stated.
On the allegation of failure to reimburse marketers on time, he said, “I can tell you that PEF is now fully automated and payments don’t last more than one month. And we have more marketers now. We are currently dealing with close to 10000 marketers across the country. The benefit of PEF on Nigerian society is evident.”
The House of Representatives has given the management of 17 subsidiaries of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) seven days ultimatum to appear before it over non-rendition of financial accounts of their agencies over the years to the office of the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF).
Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Hon Busayo Oluwole Oke (Osun) who gave the order following the absence of the Managements of the Agencies at the resumed investigative hearing at the weekend on the queries raised against the Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the federal government on non-rendition of their financial accounts, declared that failure to appear before the committee would lead to issuance of bench warrant of arrest against them.
The lawmaker said the committee discovered that while all Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the federal government were operating on the Treasury Single Account (TSA) the NNPC has been using its subsidiaries to operate commercial bank accounts without the knowledge of the Accountant General of the Federation, a practice he described as illegal and unlawful.
The committee and the NNPC have for sometimes had rift over the failure of the latter to answer questions on how their funds are being managed.
The committee also accused the NNPC of shielding its subsidiaries by not allowing them to appear before it to answer queries on their financial operations.