At the time when oil marketers went into battle with the then outgoing government of Goodluck Jonathan, the total amount of subsidy which they claimed they were being owed, was N200bn. Part of the problem at the time was that Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who was the minister of Finance, insisted that the amount being owed was actually N131bn. As a result of that controversy, Nigerians suffered a biting fuel scarcity which is only just receding.
If things however continue the way they are presently, another showdown might soon be in the offing.
Businessday newspaper is reporting that the amount being owed the marketers has now risen to N314bn, and President Buhari is nowhere near looking into that issue as he dithers on whether the contentious subsidy should be removed or retained.
The newspaper quoted a licensed importer of Petroleum products who said:
“Not a kobo in subsidy has been paid since Buhari was sworn in.
“We are still importing because we don’t want to be seen as economic saboteurs.”