The Federal Government has said that it has paid the sum of N500bn as fuel subsidy to oil marketers within the last five months.

This was disclosed on Thursday, April 30, 2015, by Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

Dr Okonjo-Iweala said via a statement by her Special Adviser on Communications, Paul Nwabuikwu that the government had paid N350bn to the marketers in December 2014 adding that an extra N31bn in foreign exchange differentials had also been released.

The statement reads:

“In line with the Federal Government’s commitment to prioritise payment to marketers in spite of revenue constraints, the Federal Ministry of Finance has paid the sum of N156bn to oil marketers.”

“The payment has two components. The first consists of the cash backing of the N100bn IOU which the marketers were given in March. The second is N56bn in interest payments for the marketers according to the PPPRA template.”

“This leaves a balance of N98bn certified by PPPRA as the amount owed the markers. The N156bn is the latest in a series of significant payments made to the oil marketers within the last five months.  include over N300bn in two installments in December last year and N31bn in interest differentials recently. In all, oil marketers have received over N500bn within the past five months.”

Meanwhile, marketers and fuel transporters in the country have gone on strike in protest of the non-payment of the subsidy debt owed them.