IPMAN suspends planned strike, promises petrol availability

…As FG talks tough on groups, individuals disrupting fuel supply, distribution

The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has suspended its plan to halt the sale of petroleum products and activities related to it.

This is coming after a memo signed by Mohammed Kuluwu, chairman, IPMAN Maiduguri was circulated publicly on Tuesday issuing a directive to all marketers to suspend operations.

BusinessDay spoke to Abdulkadir Mustapha, the spokesperson of IPMAN in Borno state, and he confirmed that the action was suspended around 01:00 pm today.

“We had a meeting and resolved it amicably we have started dispensing and in 30 minutes, we will not have queues again,” he said.

According to IPMAN, the decision to halt sales of PMS was driven by the unfavorable price of products which is making them incur losses.

“Following the critical situation as it affect our sourcing and selling of product at a loss and the action of the authority to impose the selling of product at a loss on our side,” the memo read.

In another statement made available to BusinessDay, the federal government said it will no longer condone attempts to exploit Nigerians and hence warned individuals or groups attempting to disrupt the supply and distribution chain of fuel in the country.

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This warning is coming on the heels of renewed efforts by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) to maintain the 450. 92 million liters weekly evacuation of Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMS) to different petrol stations across the country.

Timipre Sylva, Minister of State Petroleum Resources gave this warning during a tour of selected petrol stations, in Abuja, while reassuring Nigerians of the Federal Government‘s determination to find permanent solutions to the problems of petroleum products supply and distribution chain in the country.

In addition, he called on security agencies to be on high alert in preventing attempts by subversive elements to cause any disruption during the period of the general elections in the country.

“The government is exploring all options in seeking an end to the fuel problem in the country and stakeholders in the oil and gas sector should join hands with government in ending the problem,” he said.

As part of the move to find lasting solution to the problem, the minister said the Federal Government recently set up a 14-Man Committee to get to the bottom of the problem with a view to avoiding future occurrences.

He added that the Federal Government has also embarked on refineries rehabilitations neglected over the years with Port Harcourt Refinery at about 65 percent completion, while Kaduna just awarded to Daewo of South Korea and Warri expected to follow soon.

“The government through the NNPCL acquired a 20 percent equity stake in the Dangote refinery, embarked on the licensing of modular refineries, concluded the marginal fields bid rounds as well as improvement of security along the major crude oil pipelines in the Niger Delta region in the last few months all geared towards increasing crude oil production to meet domestic consumption,” he said.

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