The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, Kwara State chapter on Wednesday gave the government a seven-day ultimatum to address challenges confronting operators in the oil sector in the state or face industrial action.
IPMAN chairman, Kwara State, Mr. Olanrewaju Okanlawon, who handed down the deadline, added that if the alleged anomalies were not addressed within seven days, members of IPMAN in the state would suspend the sale of petroleum products to members of the public.
He spoke in Ilorin after a meeting with of the group, alleging that IPMAN members were being forced to buy the Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) from private depots at N141 per litre as against the Federal Government’s ex-depot rate of N133.
He said fuel sale was no longer profitable as he noted that the cost of the product was N148 per litre, excluding staff salaries, other operational costs and bank charges on loans.
The branch chairman said IPMAN members could not continue to sell at a loss, adding that many of them had become bankrupt.
Okanlawon said it was worrisome that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation after rehabilitating the depots at Lagos, Mosimi, Ibadan and Ilorin had abandoned them in preference to supplying private depots’ owners.
He said, “Before, the Minister for Petroleum (Ibe Kachikwu), was coming to the depot to interact with stakeholders, even the tanker drivers. He interacted with them and asked questions but such does not obtain again.
“The minister is only interested in the upstream sector, and the downstream sector is dying. The downstream needs his attention. He should stop visiting all the big firms in the upstream. He should concentrate on the downstream that is affecting the masses. The PMS is still a regulated product. There is ex-depot price of N133 and at the retail level N145. That is the law. But we have realised that the depot owners are above the law.”
Okanlawon also accused the NNPC, the Department of Petroleum Resources and Pipelines and Product Marketing Company of sabotaging Federal Government’s efforts to make petroleum products available to Nigerians at the regulated price.
“Presently NNPC does not have product in all its facilities. But all the depots that have depots, it is the NNPC that sells to them. We have realised that it is collaboration between the NNPC staff and private depot owners. We do not know what they are getting from it.”