Senate calls for payment of oil subsidy arrears to marketers

Nigerian Senate on Wednesday called on the executive arm of government to ensure payment of funds accrued from oil subsidy to marketers across the country to further strengthen their operations.

The lawmakers made the plea during plenary before president Muhammadu Buhari’s 2019 budget preparation to the joint session of the National Assembly.

Although the figures were not stated but were cited as monies from oil subsidy meant to be paid to oil marketers.

A senator representing Imo East constituency, Sam Anyanwu, moved the motion on the provision of payment of oil subsidy to oil marketers made by the Senate on the appropriation made by the Senate.

The senator representing Zamfara Central constituency Kabir Marafa, who chairs the committee set up to resolve the matter, said it would reach out to the finance ministry but is disappointing the matter remained unresolved.

“As a Committee, we drew the attention of the Ministry of Finance to this issue. We will reach out to them to resolve these issues accordingly,” Marafa said.

Nigerian senate deputy president Ike Ekweremadu appealed to members of the Senate committee on the matter to follow-up on the executive arm of government and proffer solutions to the matter.

“Despite all the efforts made by the Chairman of this Committee, there are challenges that still need to be addressed. I want to appeal to Senator Marafa to see if he can reach out to the Federal Government for solutions,” Ekweremadu said.

However, Senate president Bukola Saraki expressed displeasure at the longevity of the process in payment of subsidy arrears, saying the marketers deserve better treatment for their impact on the nation’s economy.

“I don’t see how such a thing can take so long to get done. These marketers have an impact on the lives of our people. For us to have to wait many more months is too long for something that is crucial in getting the economy going,” Saraki said.

Saraki thereafter directed the Chairman of Senate committee on Finance John Eno, who represents Cross River Central “to take it up with the Ministry of Finance to ensure they expedite their actions so that relief can come to a lot of contractors that have been waiting for so long for their payments.”

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