Laide Raheem, Abeokuta and Chinelo Obogo
The South West chapter of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has directed its members in the zone to henceforth increase the dispensing pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), otherwise known as petrol, from N143 to N150 in their filling stations.
IPMAN South West Zonal chairman, Dele Tajudeen, who spoke with journalists, yesterday, in Abeokuta,, said the directive became necessary in order to avert the planned shutdown of petroleum filling stations across the zone.
He explained that the decision to increase the dispensing price followed a new price regime announced by the Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) which increased the depot price of the product from N133. 72k to N138. 62k, without consulting with critical stakeholders like IPMAN.
While berating the PPPRA for what he described as “policy inconsistency”, Tajudeen, said PPPRA’s new depot price has subjected IPMAN members to a serious dilemma.
He added that after careful deliberations and consideration of many factors, IPMAN zonal executive committee arrived at the conclusion of increasing the pump price to N150 rather than joining saboteurs at creating artificial scarcity of the product.
The zonal chairman further stated that the new price regime of N138. 62 as announced by government, came was a surprise to his members who were not given any directive as to what the new pump price should be even after 48 hours of waiting for the PPPRA and its parent body, the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
“After careful deliberations and consideration of many factors, the IPMAN Zonal officers hereby declare that all its members should henceforth increase their pump price to N150 and shelve the plan of total close down of petrol stations across the South West.
“The PPPRA is not consistent in dealing with the stakeholders, the normal thing to have done was to involve marketers and other parties before announcing any increment.”
“Even after announcing the new ex depot price, they should have fixed the pump price for marketers to prevent unnecessary debt,” Tajudeen said.
He further expressed dissatisfaction at PPRA’s action which he said failed to consider the welfare of its members, most of whom he claimed conduct their businesses with bank loans.
Meanwhile, the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) has condemned the increase in the prices of petroleum products, describing it as an insensitive action by the Federal Government.
In a statement by its co-spokesman, Mark Adebayo, CUPP called the increase “an insensitive infliction of pain on Nigerians who are yet to recover from the debilitating effects of COVID-19 which the present government did next to nothing to assuage the suffering masses and small scale businesses.’”
CUPP said the government has demonstrated that it lacked empathy for the suffering of the citizens under an economy that it says has been mismanaged due to ‘incompetence and humongous corruption’.
The coalition, therefore, advised the government to immediately revert to either N123 that it was reduced to during the lockdown or bring it down to N100, saying it would cushion the negative effects of COVID-19 and the ‘badly managed economy’ of the country.
It said such an increase at this time was not only ill-advised but also reprehensible, advising that what the government should do is find a solution to the burgeoning economic crises of the country and not aggravate an already desperate situation for the mass of Nigerians. CUPP lamented that the immediate fallouts of the policy would lead to spike in the prices of food and transportation and punitive inflation.
“It is clear that this government has run out of ideas on how to fix this country and it is better for Nigerians to get ready to vote out this failed government in 2023. That is a patriotic assignment to which all Nigerians must be committed so that the country would not be run asunder by incompetence, lack of vision and anti-people policies as being executed by the current APC government,” CUPP said.