•National body denies plans to shutdown operation

By Adewale Sanyaolu

The acute shortages of Premium Motor Spirit(PMS), popularly called petrol may take a worse turn from today as Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria(IPMAN) has warned its members not to purchase product(s) that they would not be able to dispense at N195/litre .

The warning by IPMAN is coming on the heels of a clampdown by Federal Government on filling stations selling above N195 per litre. A notice signed by the Public Relations Officer of IPMAN, Ibadan depot branch, Mr .Mojeed Adesope, and copied to all marketers, obtained by Daily Sun explained that top management of the NNPC, other relevant authorities in the downstream sector of the economy as well as all the security agents in the country met on January 31, 2023 to begin the enforcement of pump price of PMS at N195/litre at all the filling stations across the country with immediate effect.

‘’Towards  that end, enforcement exercise will commence effective from Monday, February, 6, 2023 to enable you dispose off all your remaining stocks on or before the enforcement date. Members are hereby implored not to purchase product(s) that they would not be able to dispense at N195/litre. The above information should be given wider spread/circulation in order not to get any member caught unaware. You are strongly advised to heed to this information,’’.

A national daily newspaper(Not Daily Sun) had on Sunday reported that IPMAN was getting set to shut down operations beginning from Monday(today) once the government starts the enforcement of N195/litre pump price.

The report added that to avoid having their outlets sanctioned, many filling stations operated by independent marketers would be shut from Monday(Today)  as it made no business sense to sell a product lower than the cost price.

But the National Operations Controller of IPMAN, Mr. Mike Osatuyi, said the national body of IPMAN is unaware of the statement issued by Adesope, urging members of the motoring public to disregard the statement.

He said IPMAN Ibadan is an affiliate of the national body and couldn’t have issued a statement such as weighty as it did without clearance from the parent body. He explained that the statement credited to Adesope was capable of creating confusion within the downstream sector, saying at at time all hands are on deck to resolve the current fuel scarcity, it would be absurd to be having such statements capable of creating panic in the market.

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Osatuyi had last week during a live television interview said the lingering fuel queues will end in two weeks time.

He hinged his conviction on the latest intervention by NNPC and other critical stakeholders. Osatuyi had said the 14-member steering committee to address the supply and distribution of petroleum products across the country chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari, was already yielding the desired result.

He said that at a meeting held on Tuesday, the NNPC committed to open up more depots to IPMAN where products would be sold to them at the official ex-depot price.

He added that the decision to sell products directly to IPMAN members at some selected private depots at the official ex-depot  were part of  strategies to eradicate profiteering and sharp practices among private depot owners.

‘‘I am happy to disclose that this intervention by the Presidency is beginning to yield result. 

At that meeting he said the Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPPMAN) committed to make the products available to IPMAN members at the official price,’’. This, he said, has been the call by IPMAN long ago to NNPC to liberalise the petrol distribution chain by selling directly to IPMAN members.

    ‘‘What NNPC just did now should have been done long ago. It was as a result of the failure of the NNPC to accede to the demands of IPMAN that led to this lingering fuel scarcity. But we are happy now that reasoning has prevailed,’’.

    He however called on members of the National Union od Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) to allow this new intervention by NNPC and other stakeholders to achieve the desired result.