IPMAN shuts down in Borno, Yobe over unpaid N6bn claims
The Borno and Yobe States’ chapters of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) have decried the non-payment of N6 billion bridging claims allegedly owed by the Federal Government in the nine months.
The Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF) statutorily pays members of IPMAN N24/litre to transport fuel from South to Northern parts of the country.
Lamenting the unpaid claims in Maiduguri, recently, the IPMAN Secretary for Borno state, Abbas Yakubu, said the development had forced them to close shops, adding that 380 of his members could not sustain the distribution and sale of petroleum products to motorists and households.
He noted that they were already out of business because of the rising costs of trucks and spare parts in the fuel haulage sub-sector of the economy.
While lamenting on depots’ price spike, he said: “The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) or Petroleum Products Marketing Company Limited (PPMC) fuel price for petrol was initially N148.11 a litre, while private depots sell to us at N149. But suddenly, the private depots increased it to N159 a litre of petrol.”
According to him, diesel was also increased from N240 to N360 per litre.
Speaking on the rising costs of transportation, he said: “Today, for a truck to transport diesel products from Lagos to Maiduguri, it costs no less than N750, 000,” noting that it hitherto costs about N450, 000 a year ago.
He said this is despite the poor state of roads in the North, particularly the Bida/Mina road, which has become a death trap in Niger state.
He, therefore, warned that Boko Haram has plunged Borno State into darkness for nine months, as five power distribution towers were destroyed along Maiduguri/Damaturu road by terrorists last January.
He decried that the recent price increases was also compounded by the centralisation of fuel through the Customer Express Services (CESs).
He added that the CES’s centralisation led to the products’ distribution becoming extremely difficult and cumbersome for IPMAN in Borno and Yobe states.
Besides, he further disclosed that the transportation of fuel from South to Northern fuel depots has become unprofitable to sustain its distribution and sale to the public.
Speaking on the rising costs of trucks and spare parts, Abbas said the high costs of spare parts, lubricants and fuel dispensing machines, have forced about 410 members out of business, with only 30 members operating in the two states at a loss.