The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), has called on the Federal Government to immediately pay marketers their bridging claims estimated at about N500 billion to enable them commence the lifting of petroleum products from the nation’s depots in order to end fuel scarcity.
The IPMAN Public Relations Officer, Mallam Yakubu Suleiman, was quoted by the News Agency of Nigeria as making the demand on Tuesday during a telephone chat.
To tackle the fuel scarcity crisis, Suleiman also urged the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Limited) to convert the special allocation of products meant for cargo to the independent marketers nationwide.
He explained: “We are calling on the Nigeria downstream and mainstream regulatory authorities to try and 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, so that they can start transporting 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 fuel their trucks for accelerated bridging loading.
“There is no money to buy the product until the Federal Government pays our claims and assist in allocating a cargo of AGO to us to hasten loading from various loading deports”, Suleiman added,
It would be recalled that the association had in a news conference advised Nigerians to prepare for the worse fuel crisis unless the Federal Government directed the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) to pay its members their outstanding bridging claims totalling N500 billion.
Investigations by our correspondent showed that many fuel stations that were not dispensing fuel as at the weekend still remained shut even as long queues were still noticed in stations which were selling products as at Tuesday.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Limited) on Monday linked the latest fuel queues in Abuja to low load-outs at depots.
The company’s Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Department, Garba Muhammad, stated that low load-outs usually happened during long public holidays such as the just ended public holidays during Sallah celebrations.
Muhammad also linked the queues to increased fuel purchases which were also common with returning residents of the FCT from the public holidays, allayed consumers’ fears by assuring that the queues will soon be over.