Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Fuel Scarcity May Linger Unless FG Pays Marketers’ Claims — IPMAN

Fuel Queues

The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has urged the Federal Government to pay marketers their bridging claims to enable them to begin lifting petroleum products from their depots.

The association’s public relations officer, Alhaji Yakubu Suleiman, speaking to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Tuesday, said the Federal Government owes its members N500billion as bridging claims also known as ‘transportation’ claims.

Also, Suleiman urged the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to convert the special allocation of products meant for cargo to IPMAN, to quickly address the current shortage of fuel in the country.

“We are calling on the Nigeria downstream and mainstream regulatory authorities to pay our marketers their bridging claims as from today.

“This is important so that as soon as we get the payment, we can give directives to marketers to start loading their trucks and transport petroleum products.

“We are calling on the authorities and the NNPC to quickly allocate a certain cargo of AGO for IPMAN to distribute it to their members to enable them to fuel their trucks for accelerated bridging loading.

“There is no money to buy the product until the Federal Government pays our claims and assists in allocating a cargo of AGO to us, to hasten loading from various loading deports,” Suleiman said.

Reacting to the claims by IPMAN, an official of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) who spoke under condition of anonymity said the Federal Government had been paying the marketers, though in batches.

According to the official, IPMAN is one of the key stakeholders and a committee is looking into issues bothering the association.

In an earlier news conference, IPMAN had urged Nigerians to prepare for a worse fuel crisis unless the Federal Government prevails on NMDPRA to pay its members their outstanding bridging claims amounting to N500billion.

Most filling stations in Abuja were shut down over the weekend following a scarcity of premium motor spirit (PMS), popularly known as petrol, resulting in long queues.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) Ltd. however, attributed the sudden appearance of fuel queues in parts of Abuja to low load-outs at depots.

A statement by group general manager, group public affairs department, NNPC, Garba Muhammad on Monday said this usually happened during long public holidays.

Muhammad said another contributing factor to the sudden appearance of queues was the increased fuel purchases which were also common with returning residents of the FCT from the public holidays.

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