The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has called on the Independent Petroleum Products Importers (IPPIs) to avoid blackmailing the present administration over a debt burden inherited from the previous regime.The group made the appeal in a statement made in Abuja.
The statement, which was signed by the organisation’s chairman, Mr Niyi Akinsiju, and secretary, Mr Cassidy Madueke, noted that the seven-day ultimatum given to the government to shut down operations at all depots was uncalled for.
According to the group, the Buhari administration was not shying away from paying the debt in line with the approval of the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
“In fact, the Buhari administration has paid N330 billion of this debt as approved by the National Assembly and has issued Promissory Notes for the settlement of the rest of the debt.
“The Debt Management Office (DMO) has since activated the process of payment after the requisite clearance was secured from the National Assembly but it has to follow due process.
“We are also wondering why the marketers are raising dust over the government’s intention to settle the outstanding arrears through promissory notes.
“There was no time the government agreed for cash payment so there is no need making such demand so close to the yuletide period,” the statement reads.
The group also acknowledged the decision of other oil marketers under the aegis of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) to dissociate itself from the 7-day deadline.
They added that even when IPMAN’s money was part of the N800 billion subsidy debt, their decision not to join in the threats have proved them as true patriots.