From Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin

The Chairman, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Edo State chapter, Baba Saliu, yesterday, appealed to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), to provide a level playing ground for the independent marketers and the major marketers to operate in order serve the Nigerian populace better.

He made the appeal during a meeting with the Independent Marketers in Benin City.

Saliu said he has laid the complain before the Managing Director of NNPC and that he has promised to look into it with the view of addressing the problem.

“They said anything that goes up in Nigeria never comes down but petroleum product has always been an exemption.

” Petroleum product has always gone up when the demand is high, when there are panic buying and it has always come down when it is surplus and now that it is getting surplus, the price will always be uniformed for independent and major marketers and the new managing director has assured us that he will give all of us a level playing ground, that is our complain and once we are given a level playing ground, we are ready to work”,Saliu said.

Saliu said that NNPC has assured Nigerians that in two weeks time, fuel scarcity would be a thing of the past in the country

“In another two weeks, petroleum will be everywhere .

” The NNPC has said that they have about one hundred and forty million litres aside  for us and over four thousand tickets we paid will be loaded and if loaded, it is for Nigerians people, people will get it and the price will definitely come down”, the chairman said.

The IPMAN chairman, while justifying the regular supply of petroleum product to Abuja above other regions, said “First of all, I will agree with the federal government.

“Abuja is the seat of power. If there is any issues, they need to cushion it first in the federal capital that is what they are trying to do and now, they are extending to everywhere”, he said.

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He also said the reason for the price variations was due to the scarcity of the product noting that this is the first time Nigerians are finding it hard to get fuel and buying it at a very high cost.

“That is the meeting our president held with the managing director of NNPC yesterday that in no distance time, the product will be everywhere and even the issues of these prices, when is the same NNPC that is given to us is given to them, there will be no issues of prices variations.

“You will agree with me that this is the first time there is fuel scarcity.

” When there is scarcity, prices go arbitrarily and that is exactly what we have seen . We have seen the prices crashing by itself”, he said.

He called on Nigerians to bear with them adding that IPMAN is ready to partner Edo State government to see how the issues of fuel scarcity would be resolved.

“We are ready to give what we are given, we don’t produce petroleum product. We rely on government for now especially for PMS.

“So as much as possible, we make sure we serve our people right.

“So, they should bear with us and we will see how best we can serve our people.

“We are ready to partner the Edo State government to make sure we make the life easy for Edo people.

“We are aware that petroleum product is an essential commodity, every person needs it and we are ready to serve the people”, he said.