By Adewale Sanyaolu
National President of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association, (IPMAN), Sanusi Fari has allayed fears of his teeming members over the scrapping of the Petroleum Equalisation Fund by the Federal Government.
Prior to the scrapping of PEF, IPMAN had said its members were being owed N42 billion.
Investigation revealed that the Federal Government, on Wednesday , officially scrapped the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) and the Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF).
The PEF is the Special Intervention Fund put in place by the Federal Government with the mandate to ensure price uniformity of petroleum products across the country, through the reimbursement of marketers for losses they incur in trucking products from depots to their filling stations anywhere in Nigeria.
The action of the Federal Government is premised on the passage and implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) passed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari after both chambers of the National Assembly had passed, clause by clause the Petroleum Industry Bill.
Two new agencies, the Upstream Regulatory Commission and Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NPRA) have since been saddled statutorily to perform the duties of the three defunct agencies.
Further investigation revealed that the leadership of the defunct agencies are now technically handing over to their successors put in place by the Minister of State, Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, at Wednesday’s inauguration.
The IPMAN President, in a statement he made available to newsmen in Abuja at the weekend said there was no iota of truth in the claim by certain downstream oil sector industry operators that with the scrapping of PEF, the outstanding bridging claims owed marketers would not be paid.
Mr Fari who urged the members not to panic, maintained that the association has what it takes based on its close working relationship with the leadership of the National Association of Road Transport Owners, (NARTO) and the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas, (NUPENG) to ensure that payment of marketers bridging claims owed by PEF was not lost.