By Nathaniel Zaccheaus
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) on Wednesday, assured Nigerians that its members would continue to sell petrol at the government-approved price of N165 per litre
The union, therefore, advised Nigerians to stop panic buying of the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).
The association’s declaration came on the heels of an instruction from its Lagos State chapter, that dealers could no longer sell the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) below N180 per litre.
They had said that the N165 per litre was no longer feasible.
But in Abuja on Wednesday, the National President of IPMAN, Elder Chinedu Okoronkwo at a press conference said the status quo ante must be maintained moving forward.
He said the NNPC and the PPMC have responded positively by releasing products from their tank farms that can sustain the product needs of the country for 32 days.
The Lagos chapter of IPMAN through its secretary, Akeem Balogun had on Monday said the union would no longer be able to sell petrol below N180.
They said the decision was taken because its members could no longer operate at a loss.
They said while the government had fixed N165 per litre as the pump price of petrol, the current realities in the market showed that the minimum the product should be retailed at the stations should be N180.
The group advised its members to sell petrol at a sustainable price within their environment.
However, the National President at the press conference, which was well attended by stakeholders, acknowledged the position of its members in Lagos saying,
He said, “I told you the cost of doing business has changed and my members in Lagos before they did what they did, they called me and told me that they are now getting this product at N162 to N165 per lite with transportation another N8, aggregating to about N170 to N173.
“Even the N10 which supposed to be our iwn has been eroded, what do we do?
“Now you know and I know that it is only NNPC that imports this product into Nigeria. Some of these tank farm owners who have gone to collect this product don’t blame them because cost of doing business has also changed.
“It became so difficult for them to sell at N148.17 but yesterday I want to tell you that NNPC and PPMC went to their tank farms and released products.
“That is why we are thanking them that with this product we can now access the product at N148.17
Statusquo ante must be maintained moving forward and from what they have told us they have products that can last us up to 32days.
“We must be happy with that knowing full well the challenges we have globally on Energy that is why we are thanking them.”
He said massive loading if the product is ongoing in Lagos adding that in a matter of days the long queues will fizzle out.
He thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for making available N4trn budgetary provision for subsidy especially with the current global energy problems caused by the ongoing Russian-Ukrainian war.
He said they have engaged a consultant who will go into the books to determine exactly what the Association of Distributors and Transporters Of Petroleum Products (ADITOP) are being owed in terms of bridging claims.
According to Okoronkwo, to mitigate against persistent losses there is collection of N5000 product liability Insurance by the Down Stream regulatory Authority on behalf of IPMAN.
He pleaded with the Downstream Regulatory Authority to make payments regarding Marketers product differentials and Bridging claims to enable their members continue to be in business as some have been owed such claims for upward of 6 months.
He called on all members to submit their claims and all documentations to the consultant , the Benham Group for review and reconcilliation.
He expressed appreciation for the tremendous support of the NNPC, PPMC and other government agencies who worked hard to stabilise and smoothen supply of products across the country