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IPMAN distances self from PEF committee on gas expansion programme

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The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), yesterday, disassociated itself from the recently inaugurated IPMAN/Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF) Committee on gas expansion programme.

It said IPMAN was committed to adding value to Nigerians by helping to make products available, provide clean energy, create jobs, and reduce poverty in the country.

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In a statement issued in Benin City, it’s National President, Sanusi Abdul-Fari, said the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt in its ruling on AUSCO Oil Limited and others v. Registered Trustees of IPMAN (FHC/PH/CS/12/2014) had sacked IPMAN representative in the committee, Aminu Abdukadir, who claimed to be its Chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT).

Abdul-Fari pointed out that the Federal High Court and the Supreme Court had in their judgment jettisoned the 2009 Constitution of IPMAN on whose back Abdukadir rode to BoT Chairmanship in the suit marked: SC.15/201–Chief Obasi Lawson v. Chinedu Okoronkwo.

“The only BoT Chairman known in law and to IPMAN currently is Chief Obasi Lawson. IPMAN has not entered into any alliance with PEF or any other government agency on a gas expansion programme other than the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and selected financial institutions.

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“IPMAN is not looking up to PEF for funding the gas expansion project or any other project for that matter. PEF does not have the capacity to fund such projects, because the act establishing it does not empower it to do so.

“The money marketers paid to PEF is to enable it to equalise transportation expenses incurred in making products available at petrol stations in the country at a uniform price,” he stated.

Abdul-Fari alleged that the initiative was a ploy by PEF to cover up the N46b deductions from marketers’ claims, warning that the association would not hesitate to invite anti-graft agencies to investigate the matter.

He added that IPMAN would not support any move that would prolong PEF’s existence beyond the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).

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He, however, restated IPMAN’s support for Federal Government’s Gas Expansion initiative, noting that marketers had bought into the programme through expansion of their retail outlets to include the sale of automobiles and cooking gas.

Abdul-Fari disclosed that the Federal Government was currently arranging funding and financing through the CBN and other selected financial institutions.

While Abdukadir declined to take calls made to his mobile telephone and reply to a text message, PEF’s General Manager Corporate Services, explained that the law establishing the agency empowered it to deal with petroleum products marketers.

He insisted that the choice of members of the committee was proper and it was aimed at expansion of gas penetration, as Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva had clarified.

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