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NNPC, IPMAN counter claims may end up in fuel scarcity in Lagos, Ogun

All is set for members of the Independent Petroleum Markers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Lagos and Ogun States chapter, to embark on closure of their filling stations by December 11, if the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) continues to undersupply its members with Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly called fuel.

A statement issued on Thursday and signed by its chairman, Alhaji Alanamu Balogun, vice chairman, Pastor Gbenga Ilupeju, and secretary, Prince Kunle Oyenuga, IPMAN noted that no fewer than 900 filling stations will be shut down in Lagos within the period if NNPC fails to right the wrongs as soon as possible.

IPMAN gave specific reference to shortage of product supply to Ejigbo satellite depot, which, it said, serves more than 900 filling stations in Lagos and parts of Ogun state.

Other allegations by IPMAN against NNPC was not only undersupplying its members with PMS, it was also frustrating them by reneging on the bulk purchase agreement it signed with its members to supply the product to them at N133.28k per litre.

However, in a swift reaction, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), has denied hiking the ex-depot price of PMS, stating that the commodity is currently selling at N133.28 per litre.

Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr Maikanti Baru in a statement by its Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, NNPC averred that it is committed to ensuring copious supply of petroleum products across the country to aid hitch-free movement of motorists during and beyond the festive season.

The NNPC stated that this assurance and clarification became necessary in light of the threats by the Lagos Chapter of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) to withdraw its services in Lagos and its environs sequel to alleged discrepancies in ex-depot prices, among others. It disclosed that the rift was actually between IPMAN and depot owners, adding that the appropriate government agencies had been contacted to settle the rift between IPMAN and the Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA).

“The Ejigbo Satellite Depot had consistently dispensed premium motor spirit (petrol) at the approved price of N133.28 per litre, contrary to allegations that it was sold at a higher price,” it explained. Ughamadu added that the Ejigbo Satellite Depot was fully stocked and carrying out regular loading services.

He also disclosed that there was enough petroleum products in the country to last till the end of the year, adding that 25 vessels laden with petroleum products were also being expected to berth between now and January 2018 to further boost supplies.

But according to IPMAN, with undersupply from the NNPC, its members were being forced to approach the Depot and Petroleum Marketers Association, which allegedly buys at N117 per litre from the NNPC and resells to IPMAN members at N141 per litre.

IPMAN argued that at that rate it had become unrealistic for them to continue to sell to the end users at the regulated price of N145 and still expect to break even in business.

However, to solve the problem, the group pleaded for the immediate intervention of President Muhammadu Buhari, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), the National Assembly, and the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, to avert an imminent fuel crisis in the nation’s commercial nerve centre of Lagos and its neighbor, Ogun State.

IMPAN made it clear that “We have endured enough and are set for a showdown with the NNPC for irregular supply at Ejigbo satellite depot, Lagos”.

“We have held many meetings with both the NNPC and DAPMAN, questioning why should the NNPC supplies fuel to DAPMAN at N117 per litre and DAPMAN will turn around to sell the same fuel to IPMAN members at N141 and the NNPC wants marketers to sell to the public at N145 per litre.

“The NNPC made it as a condition that we must renew our agreement with it or we will 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,” IPMAN stated.