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Petrol scarcity looms as DAPPMA yet to load

Members of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association (IPMAN) have raised the alarm over the inability of the Depot and Petroleum Products Marketing Association (DAPPMA) to secure Federal Government approval for selling the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) petrol for N125 per litre.

The federal government last Wednesday reduced to pump price of the product from a maximum band of N145 to N125 per litre.

But the IPMAN National Vice President, Alhaji Abubakar Maigandi, who spoke with The Nation on phone on Monday, said that the marketers were concerned about government’s commitment to the payment of the credit balance between the old and new rate.

IPMAN, according to him, has written to the Managing Director of the Pipeline Products marketing Company (PPMC), who is yet to respond.

Owing to the worry over the confusion about the government’s non-commitment posture, a delegation of the marketers is billed to meet the Managing Director today (Tuesday).

The National Vice President said the issue is whether there will be sustainable availability of the petrol at the new rate because trucks that are queueing at the depots are yet to load the product due to price disparity.

His words: The reduction of the petrol price is a good thing to the marketers. But the only challenge is how will the government give us the credit balance for the product, which they said we should sell at N125.

“We bought the product for N145 and now the government said we should sell at N125. So, we are looking for how the government will pay the balance.

“We have already written to the Managing Director of PPMC. He has not responded and our intention is to meet him by tomorrow (Tuesday).

We are expecting the demand to be higher because of the price reduction.

“The social restrictions as a result of the coronavirus is affecting our sales. You know if there is no movement the demand for petroleum products will become a little less.

“The question no is whether the product will be available this year at N125. They (government) should make it available. The government should direct NNPC to start giving marketers the product at N125.

“This is because till now we have not got the product at N125. Our trunks are at the depots till now they have not loaded. The DAPMMA are complaining to marketers that up till now the government has not given them the approval to start selling the product for N125. Eventually, if it goes on like this, it may cause scarcity.”

Meanwhile, NNPC Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr. Kennie Obateru, foreclosed the issuing of shortchanging any marketer.

He noted that following the longstanding relationship between the government and marketers, the latter ought to be confident in the former.

According to him, there is no need of any NNPC approval once the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipriye Sylva has issued a statement directing there should be a reduction of pump price to N125 per litre.

Obateru said “Why is it the NNPC that will give approve when there is a pronouncement and the minister issued a statement. I don’t know what else they want the government to do.

“Which approval again are they asking for to when the government has made the pronoun enemy and there is an agreement that is being signed with the PPPRA? Even for NNPC stations they have been given directives to sell at that price.

“They will have their own submissions but the thing is to really go to the depots and see what is happening there. Why will anybody hinder the effectiveness of that decision.

“There is a relation they (marketers) have with NNPC that should make them confident that they will not be shortchanged. Based on the relationship they have had with the government they should have the confidence that by the time the reconciliation is being done, they won’t be shortchanged.”