Oil marketers lament $1bn debt to banks


Oil marketers under the aegis of the Independent Petroleum Products Importers (IPPI) have said they owe some Nigerian banks over $1bn used for the importation of petroleum products, with accumulated interest of N160bn, The Punch reports.

They said the interest had accumulated because the government could not pay them or pay the banks’ interest on the loans as agreed, adding that the inability to pay or service the loans had stalled the importation of fuel. The IPPI, in a communiqué stated that some of the marketers, which included members of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria and Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association, had begun to close shops due to the indebtedness.

“The banks are worried that financing new petrol imports when outstanding loans, interests and charges have not been paid will be foolish.” Government’s delay in paying debts to the IPPIs and the difficulty they face in procuring forex at equitable rates will likely see the extinction of  many of the IPPIs in 2017 thereby, creating petroleum products’ shortages and attendant insecurity.”