The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has issued a warning of a potential fuel scarcity in the South-East region, as well as parts of the South-South and Middle Belt States. This comes after IPMAN threatened to withdraw their services due to unresolved financial issues with the Nigerian Downstream/Midstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority.
In a statement released by Prince Bobby Eberechi Dick, the zonal chairman, and Emmanuel Inimgba, the zonal secretary, IPMAN expressed frustration over the non-payment of their bridging claims. They pointed out that similar payments had been made to their counterparts in the North-West and North-East Zones since the subsidy removal regime on May 29, 2023, but their zone has not received any payments.
The group’s decision was made after a meeting held in Owerri on November 16, 2023, where they discussed the challenges facing petroleum marketers in states including Abia, Anambra, Akwa Ibom, Benue, Bayelsa, Cross River, Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo, Kogi, and Nasarawa. They highlighted that despite sending multiple correspondences to the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Downstream/Midstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority regarding this issue, there has been no response or release of funds.
IPMAN’s statement also appealed to the Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum for immediate intervention to save their businesses and prevent members from losing their properties, which are often used as collateral for bank loans. The association stated that if the overdue payments are not released by the end of November 2023, they will have no choice but to withdraw their services from the public.
This potential withdrawal of services by IPMAN poses a serious threat of fuel scarcity in the affected regions, which could lead to significant disruptions in transportation and economic activities. The situation underscores the need for prompt resolution of financial disputes in the petroleum sector to ensure uninterrupted fuel supply and stability in the market.