Desmond Mgboh, Kano and Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has called on the Federal Government to stay action on implementation of the new petrol pump price as announced by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
IPMAN’s South-West zonal chairman, Dele Tajudeen, who made the call in a statement on Wednesday in Abeokuta, Ogun State, said the plea became necessary in order to allow its members exhaust the petroleum products that they had purchased at an expensive price before NNPC announced the new price regime.
Tajudeen, in the statement, berated the management of NNPC for announcing further reduction in the pump price of petroleum product without adequate consideration of the welfare of its members, most of whom he claimed conduct their businesses with bank loans.
He, however, disclosed that the IPMAN executive committee in the zone had resolved and directed its members to continue selling PMS at N125 per litre.
“It is very disheartening to hear that a new price regime is coming to effect, without considering the plight of marketers who bought these products at an expensive price.
“We want to categorically state here that the last time when Federal Government cut off a whole N20 from the pump price, all of us incurred greater debts. And Federal Government needs to know that some of us obtained loans from banks to run this business and we have to pay interest on them.
“We are still struggling with debts incurred not up to a month ago before another price reduction.”
Similarly, IPMAN head in Kano, Bashir Ahmad Danmallam declared that members of the association would not adjust their pump price until they exhaust their old stock.
In a press conference in Kano yesterday, he lamented that their members nationwide lost over N5.5 billion in the previous occasion when the Federal Government reduced the pump price of petrol from N145 per litre to N125 per litre.
Danmallam warned that, as a union, they would withdraw their services, if any filling station in the state was closed down for not adjusting to the new rate of 123.50 per litre
He recalled that, in the wake of the previous reduction, they had approached the Federal Government for compensation or support for their members, but got nothing.
“To our surprise, the private depot owners were paid, but none of our members was supported to reduce the losses we incurred. This time around, we will not sell our products until the old stocks are exhausted.
“Apart from the Federal Government, IPMAN is the largest employer of labour in the country and we cannot afford to continue to support the government at this trying time while as business people we are operating at loss,” he said. “Even though we are happy with the new development and the Federal Government should be commended for the gesture, but government should consider the fact that no sane marketer or businessman will continue operating his/her business at loss.”
He added that, “Before the last announcement, many of our members have already bought and loaded their vehicles with the product at old prices from Lagos, Port Harcourt and Warri and we spend five to seven days before reaching our destinations. So, we are not going to sell the product at the new price until we sell the old stocks.
“We hope the Federal Government will see reason and come to the aid of our members as it supported private depots because our members will not continue to operate at loss.”