HomeBUSINESSFuel Fiasco Looms As IPMAN Signal Service Withdrawal Over ₦200bn Debt Crisis

Fuel Fiasco Looms As IPMAN Signal Service Withdrawal Over ₦200bn Debt Crisis


Afor Kenneth

The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has issued a threat to disrupt the supply of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), commonly known as petrol, due to outstanding bridging claims amounting to ₦200 billion.

This threat comes amidst a nationwide scarcity, causing petrol prices to skyrocket to between N610 and N800 at the pump and between N1000 and N1200 on the black market.

According to Mazi Oliver Okolo, the unit chairman and spokesperson for Aba Depot, the threat is endorsed by IPMAN’s national leadership.

READ ALSO: Fuel Scarcity Crisis: NANS Threatens Mass Action for Urgent Solutions

Okolo stated that the debt is owed by the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NMDPRA).

Despite a directive from Petroleum Minister (Oil) Heineken Lokpobiri in February 2024 for payment, Okolo claimed that only ₦13 billion has been paid to IPMAN members, leaving the unpaid claims severely impacting their businesses.

“We are extremely distressed and depressed by the laid back 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 to offset 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.”

He blamed the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), the sole importer of petroleum products, for the current nationwide petrol scarcity.

He added that some of IPMAN’s members have “completely” shut down their businesses and laid off employees as a result.

“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 daily across the nooks and crannies of Nigeria, to serve the teeming population of Nigerians. However, it is demoralising 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. Consequently, also, the banks have taken over the business premises of many of our members. As indigenous organisations, and Depot Chairmen, we are unhappy that rather than receiving support from the government to boost our businesses, we are being discouraged, by the head of NMDPRA.

“It is noteworthy to recall and state here that at a stakeholders meeting held on the 20th of February, 2024 with Mr. Heineken Lokpobiri, the Honourable Minister of Petroleum Resources (Oil), and the NSA Nuhu Ribadu, Engr. Farouk Ahmed, the Chief Authority of NMDPRA, was mandated by Mr. Hienken Lokpobiri to clear the entire debt in 40 days.

“However, today, we have crossed the 40-day time-lapse given to the NMDPRA to clear the debt, and it is shameful to state that only the paltry sum of N13 billion has been paid, thus going the whole length to ignore our plight without remorse and without recourse to the Honourable Minister’s directive,” according to the statement.

Okolo also claimed that the NNPC Ltd imports the products and supplies to private depots, who then sell to them at exorbitant prices of between ₦820 and ₦950 per litre. He added that IPMAN members pay an extra ₦2 million to transport it to other parts of the country, making it difficult for them to sell to Nigerians at the agreed pump price.

The IPMAN members called on President Bola Tinubu to closely look into the matter, which, according to them, is highly detrimental to their businesses, 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. 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,” the group said.


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