The Independent Petroleum Markers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has threatened to shut down over 900 filling stations in Lagos and Ogun States by December 11, if the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) continues to undersupply petrol to its members.
IPMAN accused the NNPC of supplying petrol to private depot owners and under-supplying the corporation’s Ejigbo Depot, which serves more than 900 filling stations in Lagos.
But in a swift response, the spokesman of NNPC, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, said in a statement yesterday that the corporation would remain committed to ensuring copious supply of petroleum products across the country to aid hitch-free movement of motorists during and beyond the Festive Season.
Ughamadu further clarified that the Ejigbo Satellite Depot was fully stocked and carrying out regular loading services, contrary to the claims by the marketers.
However, Lagos State Chapter’s Chapter of IPMAN, Mr. Alanamu Balogun; Vice Chairman, Pastor Gbenga Ilupeju, and Secretary, Prince Kunle Oyenuga, alleged in a statement yesterday that the NNPC was undersupplying its members and also frustrating them by reneging on the bulk purchase agreement it signed with its members to supply the product to them at ex-depot price of N133.28k per litre.
IPMAN argued that with undersupply from the NNPC, its members source for products from the Depot and Petroleum Marketers Association (DAPMA), which allegedly buys at N117 per litre from the NNPC and resells to IPMAN members at N141 per litre.
The marketers said at that price it would be unrealistic for them to continue to sell to the end users at the regulated price of N145 and break even in business.
IPMAN called for the quick intervention of President Muhammadu Buhari; Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu; Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR); National Assembly, and the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, to avert an imminent fuel crisis in the nation’s commercial nerve centre.
“We have endured enough and are set for a showdown with the NNPC for irregular supply at Ejigbo satellite depot, Lagos. We have held many meetings with both the NNPC and DAPMAN, questioning why should the NNPC supplies fuel to DAPMAN at N117 per litre and DAPMAN will turn around to sell the same fuel to IPMAN members at N141 and the NNPC wants marketers to sell to the public at N145 per litre,” IPMAN said.
“The NNPC made it as a condition that we must renew our agreement with it or we will not get fuel supply. This agreement has been renewed yet, the NNPC has refused to supply us with fuel. The same agreement the NNPC signed with us is what it signed with DAPMAN. While DAPMAN gets supplies, IPMAN members are being denied fuel supply, which means the NNPC officials are into a game. The Federal Government should step into this matter between now and December 11 to avoid fuel crisis,” IPMAN added.
Reacting to the threat by the marketers to withdraw its services in Lagos and its environs sequel to alleged discrepancies in ex-depot prices, among others, the NNPC’s spokesman explained that the Ejigbo Satellite Depot had consistently dispensed petrol at the approved price of N133.28 per litre contrary to allegations that it was sold at a higher price.
Ughamadu said there was enough petroleum products in the country to last till the end of the year and that 25 vessels laden with petroleum products were also being expected to berth between now and January 2018 to further boost supplies.
He urged members of the public not to entertain any fear or engage in panic buying of petroleum products as there was enough to keep the country well supplied.