Economy and Business

Fuel scarcity looms in southeast, south-south as petroleum marketers threatens service withdrawal

The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has issued a stark warning of potential fuel scarcity in several states in the southeast and south-south if the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority fails to address their bridging claims.

Following a zonal meeting in Owerri on November 16, 2023, IPMAN representatives highlighted the looming crisis in a communique. The affected states include Abia, Anambra, Akwa Ibom, Benue, Bayelsa, Cross River, Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo, Kogi, and Nasarawa.

The statement, signed by the Zonal Chairman, Prince Bobby Eberechi Dick, and Secretary, Mr. Emmanuel Inimgba, expressed the association’s discontent. They urged the immediate payment of bridging claims, citing the disparity in costs to their colleagues in the North-West and North-East zones, cleared since the subsidy removal in May 2023.

IPMAN highlighted their repeated attempts to address this issue, emphasizing the need for more response or release of funds by the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority.

The association stressed their urgent need for intervention from the Minister of State for Petroleum to prevent the seizure of properties pledged as collateral to banks. They emphasized the dire situation faced by their members, with funds tied down in the defunct Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF).

Expressing their resolve, IPMAN stated their request: if the pending funds aren’t disbursed by the end of November 2023, they would have no choice but to withdraw their services to the general public.

“That we state unequivocal­ly that since we cannot fold our hands and see our hard earned properties taken away by the banks, that if the monies are not released to us as done to the oth­er zones by the end of Novem­ber 2023, that we will have no other option than to withdraw our services from the general public,” part of the communique read.

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