*About 900 Filling Stations in Lagos State to shutdown
By Tunde Osho
The Independent Petroleum Markers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Lagos State Chapter has threatened to withdraw its services across Lagos State and part of Ogun State from December 11.
IPMAN members own over 900 filling stations, which could be shut down and lead to fuel crisis during the Yuletide festivities.
This indication was dropped in a statement signed by the IPMAN Lagos State Chairman, Alhaji Alanamu Balogun, the Vice chairman, Pastor Gbenga Ilupeju and the secretary, Prince Kunle Oyenuga and released to newsmen in Lagos yesterday. The association said it was set for a showdown with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) over irregular fuel supply at Ejigbo satellite depot.
The IPMAN said it could take the painful decision because its members had been running their fuel stations at a loss since the past eight months due to NNPC default in the bulk purchase agreement it signed with IPMAN to sell fuel to its members at a cost of N133. 28k per litre.
Presently, said IPMAN, a litre of fuel (PMS) is being sold to its members by the Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPMAN) at N141, apart from running costs, bank charges and other expenses, which have made it impossible for its members to sell a litre of fuel at controlled price of N145, but N146 per litre.
The IPMAN explained that while the NNPC had refused to sell fuel to its members regularly, it (NNPC) is diverting the supplies to DAPMAN at a price of N117 per litre and DAPMAN in turn, selling to IPMAN members at N141 per litre.
IPMAN expresses the belief that NNPC is doing this to deliberately cause fuel crisis because it could not control DAPMAN not to inflate prices beyond government’s fixed prices.
IPMAN therefore, called on President Muhammadu Buhari, the National Assembly, the DPR, the Minister of Petroleum, Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, the Inspector–General of Police and other security agencies to call the NNPC and DAPMAN to order, or the IPMAN will withdraw services and shut down all their stations in Lagos State.
“We have endured enough and are set for a showdown with NNPC for irregular supply at Ejigbo Satellite depot, Lagos.”
The statement further said IPMAN members are in business for profit, using bank loans and would rather stop sales of fuel than to run into bank debts or at a loss. The IPMAN said if its members are to make any profit, they will have to sell a litre of fuel for at least N146. And if this is the case, we have not committed any offence because we are in business. Hence, we are drawing the attention of the IGP and other security agencies to our plight. ‘’
The association drew the attention of the government to the fact that over 900 fuel stations are attached to Ejigbo satellite depot alone, and if NNPC decides to supply the depot once or twice a month, the NNPC is already creating a problem for the marketers and the general public. This is not an ideal thing to do.
We have held several meetings with both the NNPC and DAPMAN, questioning why should the NNPC supply fuel to DAPMAN at N117 per litre and DAPMAN will turn around to sell the same fuel to IPMAN members at N141 and NNPC wants marketers to sell to the public at N145 per litre. The DAPMAN, according to IPMAN, has refused bluntly to sell at N133.28k to its members.
The NNPC made it as a condition that we must renew our agreement with it or we not get fuel supply. This agreement has been renewed yet, the NNPC has refused to supply us with fuel. The same agreement the NNPC signed with us is what it signed with DAPMAN. While DAPMAN gets supplies, IPMAN members are being denied fuel supply, which means the NNPC officials are into a game.
The Federal Government should step into this matter between now and December 11 to avoid fuel crisis, the IPMAN advised.