Oil marketers on Sunday in Lagos issued a seven-day ultimatum, demanding that the Federal Government settle the outstanding debts totaling eight hundred billion naira, failing which depots would cease operation across the country.
The marketers, comprising Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association and Independent Petroleum Products Importers, said failure to meet the deadline would force its members to disengage workers from depots.
Confirming the seven-day notice, Mr Patrick Etim, Legal Adviser to IPPI told newsmen that banks have taken over investments and assets of oil marketers over unpaid debts. According to Etim, marketers have no choice that to ask their workers to stay at home over unpaid salary arrears due to huge subsidy debts owed by the government.
He said the only way to salvage the situation is for the government to pay the oil marketers the outstanding debts through cash option instead of promissory note being proposed.
Etim said that several thousand jobs were on the line in the industry, as oil marketers begin to cut-down their workforce due to inability to pay salaries