From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has raised the alarm that huge funds of its members are trapped in the scrapped Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Petroleum Equalisation Fund Management Board (PEFMB), and Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA).
The association said the development is capable of affecting it’s statutory obligations to the public if its funds with the scrapped agencies are not recovered.
IPMAN said its members are always at the receiving end whenever there is change of policy in the petroleum industry, adding with the scrapping of the three agencies on Monday by the federal government, members’ funds running into tens of billions of dollars are trapped.
It stressed the need for urgent reconciliation of the huge sum of money to avert a major crisis in the sector, adding it has appointed a forensic expert to help in reconciliation and recovery of the money.
In a press statement Friday, IPMAN said it has engaged the services of the consultant to the association, Mauritz Walton Nig. Ltd, to help reconcile and recover its funds trapped in the defunct agencies vis-a-vis the federal government.
“In view of our past experience by virtue of the enomous amount of money being owed by the federal government vis-a-vis DPR, PEFMB and PPPRA, IPMAN has engaged the services of Mauritz Walton Nig. Ltd, to reconcile and recover the product differential between IPMAN and federal government,” the statement said.
IPMAN said Mauritz Walton will appropriately liase with the federal government with a view of reconciling product differential lasting several years and running into billions of naira.
According to the association, Mauritz Walton Nig. Ltd, is a forensic expert and globally acclaimed financial consultant, the proginator of Paris Club Refund, a project that helped recover over $20bn for states government in Nigeria.
The association promised to make a more detailed statement to its members and to the general public in due course.
Group Executive Officer and Managing Director of Mauritz Walton Nig. Ltd, Dr. Maurice Ibe, said he will be bringing his expertise in forensic financial consultancy to bear on the assignment.
Dr. Ibe stated the consultancy firm will be reviewing all information, records, invoices and documentation from IPMAN members with a view to determining the amount owed and what is recoverable. He promised to shed more light on the development at the appropriate time.
In an announcement on Monday, 18 October, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, said the defunct agencies transited to newly introduced Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission, and the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Authority as fall out of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).
Before the latest development, the DPR monitored fuel stations across the country to ensure products are not hoarded, among other functions while PEFMB was the special intervention put in place by the government to ensure products are sold at approved prices.
PPPRA, on the other hand, was saddled with the responsibility to determine the pricing policy and regulate the supply and distribution of petroleum products, among others.