• Monday, May 27, 2024
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IPMAN threatens to halt petroleum products supply nationwide over N200bn debt

IPMAN tackles Anambra over proposed petroleum committee

The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), has alleged the federal government’s refusal to offset N200 billion debt owed to its members, threatening to withdraw services, shut retail outlets, and suspend lifting of products forthwith till demands are fully met.

Mazi Oliver Okolo, Unit chairman of Aba depot, disclosed this in Abuja on Tuesday, while briefing the press on behalf of the IPMAN Depot Chairmen Forum. He stated that the debt has led to the deaths of many of its members and collapse of their businesses.

Read also:NNPC, IPMAN warn against panic buying, say no plans to hike fuel prices

He said, “We are extremely distressed and depressed by the laidback attitude of the leadership of the Nigerian Midstream Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), towards the survival of our member’s businesses, arising from NMDPRA’s deliberate delay and refusal in offsetting the debt of over N200 billion owed our members, which has consequently led to the deaths of many of our members and the unfortunate collapse of their businesses.

“It is also disheartening to note that some of our members have completely shut down their businesses, and retrenched their employees as we are no longer able to pay salaries. We have watched with apprehension also, the unpatriotic attitude of the leadership of the NMDPRA to offset this debt that has been accrued to us since September 2022.

“As businessmen and women, our members acquired bank loans to keep their fuel retail outlets running on a daily basis across the nooks and crannies of Nigeria, in order to serve the teeming population of Nigerians. However, it is demoralizing to know that many of our members have gone bankrupt and have become financially insolvent as a result of their inability to meet their financial obligations to their banks, arising wholly from their inability to get their monies from the NMDPRA.”

Read also:IPMAN To close operations in Anambra over N900m debt

He decried banks’ taking over the business premises of many of its members, adding that rather than receive support from the government to boost their businesses, the members were being discouraged by actions of the NMDPRA.

Okolo also decried the increment in the issuance and renewal of the sales and storage license by the NMDPRA, and the subsequent delays in acquiring the license.

“As IPMAN members we are also calling on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to closely look into this unwholesome figure which is highly detrimental to our business and reverse it forthwith, as it is bound to impact negatively on the masses thereafter. We see no reason why there should be an increment of over 500% on the Sales and Storage License by the NMDPRA. This is outright wickedness, and therefore highly detrimental to our businesses. We totally reject it.

“We also hereby call on the federal government of Nigeria to wholly intervene forthwith in these lingering issues between the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) and the Nigerian Midstream & Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA).

“We are poised to take far reaching decisions that may cripple the supply and sales of petroleum products across Nigeria, if our demands are not met within the shortest period of time. We are appealing to Mr. President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to please intervene in this quagmire that we have been subjected to by the NMDPRA.

“We repeat, if our demands are not met within the shortest period of time, we have already put our members on standby across the nation, as law abiding citizens, we are collectively prepared to withdraw our services, close every single outlet, and suspend lifting of products forthwith till our demands are fully met, and the consequences will be terrible. As every marketer’s outlet across Nigeria, from the North to the South, and from the East to the West, will be shut down.

Read also:Demolition: IPMAN threatens to shutdown stations in Anambra, demands compensation

Commenting on the petrol scarcity being experienced in the country, Okolo said, “we would categorically states that the scarcity of PMS products is wholly triggered by the NNPC and not by IPMAN or her members. Contrary to claims that IPMAN members are hoarding PMS products, we make bold to say that NNPC are the sole importers of PMS products, and therefore the sole cause of the present PMS scarcity in Nigeria.”