The residents of South East, South-South and North Central zones may experience increased anguish in the coming week as the possibility of fuel scarcity looms.
This is due to a threat by the Eastern zone of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, to withdraw their services.
In a statement signed by the zonal chairman, Prince Bobby Eberechi Dick and the zonal Secretary, Emmanuel Inimgba, IPMAN complained about the non-payment of their bridging claims, which they claim have been issued to their colleagues in the Northern zone.
“We the entire members of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) Eastern Zone, comprising of marketers in the mentioned states- Abia, Anambra, Akwa Ibom, Benue, Bayelsa, Cross River, Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo, Kogi and Nasarawa resolved on the following after a meeting of the zone held in our Zonal office at Owerri on the 16th of November 2023.
“That the Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Downstream/Midstream Petroleum Regulatory should as a matter of urgency pay us our bridging claims having done so to our colleagues in the North-West and North-East Zones since the subsidy removal regime on the 29th of May 2023 without any Kobo owed them.
“This resolution is further necessitated by the fact that despite correspondences sent to the Chief Executive Officer on this issue, he has refused to release funds or respond to the letters.
“Given the above reasons, we are appealing to the Honourable Minister of State for petroleum for his immediate intervention to not only save our business but save our members from losing their properties used as collaterals to banks where these monies are tied down with defunct Petroleum Equalization Fund (PEF).”
The statement further declared: “We state equivocally that since we cannot fold our hands and see our hard-earned properties taken away by the banks, if the monies are not released to us as done to the other zones by the end of November 2023, we will have no other option than to withdraw our services from the general public.”