. As NNPC threaten to sanction private depots over price hike
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), and the Association of Distributors and Transporters of Petroleum Products (ADITOP), have urged their members not to sell Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) above N165 per litre.
This, they said, follows reassurances from the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited to sanction private depot owners who sell premium motor spirit (PMS) also called petrol above the Federal Government’s approved ex-depot price of N148.17 per litre.
IPMAN National President, Chinedu Okoronkwo who disclosed this in Kano yesterday, said: “Henceforth, any depot owner who continues to sell the product above the approved ex-depot price will be blacklisted and sanctioned as the government would not fold its arms and allow such unpatriotic depot owners to continue to exploit people.”
According to him, the NNPC also mandated the management of Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), to enforce the order by ensuring effective monitoring of private depot owners.
IPMAN had accused the Faruk Ahmed-led NMDPRA of failing to check the excesses of private depot owners, whom they accused of being responsible for the flagrant and indiscriminate increase of ex-depot price of PMS.
This led to scarcity and return of long queues for petrol in many parts of the country, with IPMAN urging its members in Lagos to sell fuel at N180 per litre, in order to guarantee supply and availability of the product.
Speaking at a news conference in Abuja on Wednesday, Okoronkwo, said his members had earlier briefed him on why they wanted a price hike.
He also said the Federal Government had released enough fuel from their depot, which enabled them to back track from the pump price hike and maintain the status quo.
Henceforth, any depot owner who continues to sell the product above the approved ex-depot price will be blacklisted and sanctioned as the government would not fold its arms and allow such unpatriotic depot owners to continue to exploit people.
Okoronkwo also informed that marketers and transporters had engaged the services of Benham Group to recover money owed to them for the supply of petroleum products, adding that the partnership would help in ending fuel scarcity.
“Our business requires technology, that is why we brought a seasoned financial expert and we have been able to recover a lot of funds in other countries and Nigeria.
“The incessant accidents and destruction of trucks on the road, banditry and kidnapping is the reason we are bringing the insurance company to help us.
“Leaving the risk for the owner of the truck to bear will affect our businesses. Our members in Lagos were getting the fuel at N170/N173 that’s why they wanted the price increased.
“It’s only the NNPC that is importing the product. Cost of doing business has changed, so it becomes difficult to sell at N165 per litre.”
Also speaking, the National President, ADITOP, Mohammed Danzaki, said Nigerians had been suffering from fuel scarcity because of problems the association was facing.
“ADITOP and IPMAN are the ones suffering since we need return for our investment. NNPC has done a lot to import the product but the main issue is the transportation.
“We have not been getting our payments. That’s why we engaged a financial expert, Benham Group, to recoup our money for Nigerians to get regular supplies in the fuel stations,” Danzaki said.
The Chief Consultant and Chairman, Benham Group, Dr Maurice Ibe, said the collaboration was to ensure stabilisation of fuel supply at the filling stations.
Ibe said they were doing everything possible to stabilise the activities of the downstream sector and ensure that the product was transported to every nook and cranny of the country. (NAN)