Oil marketers on Wednesday agreed with the Federal Government to allow the pump price of petrol to remain at N145 per litre, reversing their previous stance on the pricing of the commodity.
On Tuesday, the Chairman, Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association, Dapo Abiodun, had stated that the marketers could no longer import petrol at a controlled price of N145 per litre.
But it was gathered in Abuja on Wednesday that the marketers reversed their stance at the meeting of the ad hoc committee set up by the Presidency to get the oil marketers to restart the importation of refined petroleum products.
Sources at the meeting told our correspondent that a communique on the resolutions reached at the meeting would be made public soon, but noted that the marketers also appealed to the Federal Government to grant them tax holidays and other incentives that would help cut their costs when they resumed fuel importation.
It was learnt that four sub-committees were constituted at the meeting, which was chaired by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, at the ministry’s headquarters in Abuja.
“Four sub-committees were inaugurated by the minister and we agreed on a price that is good for Nigerians, which of course, is the current price. All these and more will be in the communique that will be released soon,” a source who spoke to our correspondent in confidence, said.
Another source stated that the committees included those on logistics and business conduct, adding that the agreements reached at the meeting would be relayed to the Presidency before the communique would be made public.
It was also learnt that heads of some parastatals under the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources were members of some of the committees.
Meanwhile, the Senate has denied an alleged claim by the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, that the National Assembly is responsible for the delay in the payment of the debt owed oil marketers by the Federal Government.
The lawmakers denied any pending request to approve a loan for the payment of the debt by the Presidency.
The upper chamber of the National Assembly stated this on Wednesday in a statement issued by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Aliyu Sabi-Abdullahi.
The statement read in part, “The attention of the Senate has been drawn to a claim said to have been made by the Chief of Staff to the President, Mallam Abba Kyari, during a meeting with stakeholders in the oil industry on the perennial fuel scarcity in the country to the effect that the payment of debts owed oil marketers was being delayed because the National Assembly has not approved request presented to the legislature for a loan meant for that purpose.
“The Senate will want members of the public to know that no such request has been made to it specifically requesting for a loan meant for payment to oil marketers. The Senate is aware that subsidy on petrol had been cancelled by this administration, so we wonder which payment we are talking about now.
“Senators have been inundated with calls from oil marketers who were present at the meeting with the Chief of Staff to the President on the issue and thus, we call on Mallam Kyari to either prove his claim or retract it.”
He added, “It should be noted that a similar claim was made by the Minister of Finance on the foreign loan at a time the Presidency had not forwarded the request. The letter requesting for the foreign loan was submitted long after she was confronted with the fact.”