The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has asked Nigerians to prepare for the worst fuel crisis unless the Federal Government prevails on the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) to pay its members their outstanding claims amounting to over N500 billion.
The IPMAN chairman in Kano state, Bashir Danmalam made the terse remarks while addressing a news conference in Kano.
Mr Danmalam said the failure of the NMDPRA to pay the bridging claims, otherwise known as Transportation claim, had forced many of its members out of business as they could not transport the commodity due to the high cost of diesel.
He complained about the non-payment of claims by the Agency (NMDPRA) for over eight months, which he said had crippled the business of many of their members as they could no longer transport the commodity, despite it being available.
“NMDPRA is responsible for the payment of bridging claims otherwise known as transportation claims,” he said.
“Failure of the NMDPRA to pay the outstanding claims for about nine months (means) many marketers cannot transport the product because their funds are not being paid. Despite the high price of diesel, they manage to supply petroleum products nationwide.
“The resurfacing of fuel queues in Abuja is just a tip of the iceberg with regards to the petroleum scarcity. Out of 100%, only five percent of the marketers can supply the petroleum products because of the failure of NMDPRA to pay them.”
He observed that since the amalgamation of DPR, PEF and PPRA to create NMDPRA, the agency has paid only two times.
Mr Danmalam, therefore, called on the federal government to intervene before the situation degenerated into a serious problem (fuel crisis) and spread to other parts of the country.
“As leaders, we have to come out to say the truth because our members are suffering from the failure of the agency to pay the fund. This Petroleum Equalisation Fund is our own money we contribute to each litre.This Agency is doing more harm than good to us,” Mr Danmalam said.
He urged Nigerians not to blame his co-members for the fuel scarcity but rather hold NMDPRA responsible.
“We are not agitating for a transportation fee increase; we are only clamouring for payment of our bridging claims that is over N500 billion,” he added.
Reporting by Abdullahi Jalaluddeen; Editing by Daniel Adejo and Tony Okerafor