The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has appealed to Governor Chukwuma Soludo of Anambra State to pay N900.7 million debt owed to its members over supply of diesel.
IPMAN made the appeal in a letter to the governor which was signed by Chinedu Anyaso and Emeka Iloafor, chairman and secretary of the association respectively.
In the letter made available to newsmen in Awka on Thursday, IPMAN said that since 2022, the state government had been indebted to about 70 of its members who supplied Automotive Gas Oil (AGO), also known as diesel, to power street lights.
The letter was titled ‘Request For Debt Payment Of N900,664,805.00 Owed Our Members For Diesel Supplied And Services Rendered In Respect Of Street Lights.’
The association said that the decision to intervene in the protracted transactions was reached at its Annual General Meeting held in Enugu on August 24.
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It explained that the debt was specifically for March and April 2022, being the period they were approved to supply the products by the previous administration of former governor, Willie Obiano.
IPMAN said that with the exit of Obiano, the contractors were directed to stop by the current administration.
It appealed to Soludo to clear the outstanding debts to enable the affected members, who were already going out of business, to remain afloat.
The association noted that the marketers have had their trading capitals trapped with the government and that those who obtained bank loans were in liquidity crisis.
The letter read in part: “We IPMAN covering Anambra, Ebonyi and Enugu states write to appreciate the good works you are doing in Anambra and commend all your efforts in making the state a livable place.
“Sir, we want to bring to your notice that your department in charge of paying for diesel and services on the Anambra Street lights have refused to offset an outstanding debt owed to our members.
“The debt is to the tune of N900,664,805 accrued for the months of March and April 2022.
“Mr. Governor, our members are dying because of these debts and the banks are chasing them around to repay the loans given to them to do this business.
“We attach the breakdown of the debts for your records Sir,” it stated.
When contacted, Tony Collins Nwabunwanne, commissioner for Local Government, Chieftaincy and Community Affairs, whose office overseas the transaction, said he had not seen the letter.
Nwabunwanne, however, said he was aware of the transactions and the plights of the contractors, assuring that the government would take the necessary action.
“I am not aware that they wrote a letter to the governor; I have not seen it but I know what they are talking about,” he said.