There are indications that the federal government has finally approved the payment of outstanding N650 billion subsidy payment owed members of Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPPMAN).
The association hinted yesterday that the federal government may have forwarded a request to the National Assembly for appropriation of the payment of the said amount.
The association, in a statement issued by its chairman, Prince Dapo Abiodun, and executive secretary, Olufemi Adewole, yesterday, said the latest development followed discussions between DAPPMAN and the federal government on how to resolve the debt issue.
LEADERSHIP recalls that DAPPMAN had issued a 14-day ultimatum to the federal government on February 20 calling on the government to settle the N650 billion debt owed its members.
In a letter signed by Adewole, the association disclosed that a letter had been written to the presidency on January 24 on the debt issue, but that the federal government did not respond to the plight of the marketers, adding that many of the marketers had become financially insolvent.
In the said letter, the association warned that if government failed to meet the deadline, members would be forced to disengage their workers and possibly shut down all DAPMAN depots nationwide.
However, in the latest press statement, the association said that series of constructive engagements and meetings had been held with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the Ministry of Labour, the Presidency and DAPPMAN/ Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN).
It, therefore, expressed hope that the money would be approved by the National Assembly and payment would be made so that the lingering crisis would be resolved.
"Marketers have been reassured about the federal government's commitment to make payment as evidenced by the request for approval for appropriation of same to the National Assembly. I hope that this approval will be given promptly and these long overdue payments made subsequently," the statement read in part.
The union also assured the nation that its proposed strike had been suspended.
"Consequently, DAPPMAN/MOMAN hereby suspends the issued 14-day ultimatum and use this medium to plead with all our staff under the various umbrella unions: Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) to please bear with us whilst this approval for appropriation by the National Assembly is being deliberated on and processed, which we believe will not exceed two weeks in view of the adverse implications of any delay," the statement read in part.
The union also called upon all marketers to ensure there is no disruption in the supply and distribution of premium motor spirit (PMS) nationwide.