IPMAN threatens to withdraw services over ‘discriminating distribution system’
Members of the Independent Petroleum Marketers’ Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) yesterday, threatened to boycott private depots, except they are supplied products at the same regulated price to major marketers.
Citing the prevalence of a discriminating distribution system between IPMAN and major marketers, the independent operators have given a seven-day notice to the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) to address their concerns or they boycott the depots, thereby worsening the already tense fuel situation in the country.
IPMAN Ejigbo Satellite Depot Chairman, Akin Akinrinade in a chat with journalists yesterday, also called out the regulatory agency, NMDPRA, for allowing the situation to deteriorate.
He raised some posers saying, “How do you explain the fact that Major Marketers and NNPC Retail outlets sell at N170/ltr and N169/ltr of petrol at their stations, respectively, (and still make profit)? They get their supplies from the same Mother Vessels brought into the Nigerian waters by NNPC Limited. Do they not use Daughter Vessels? Why is it impossible for the Private Depots to sell to IPMAN members at regulated price since they get their supplies from the same source as major marketers? Nobody seems to be interrogating this obvious anomaly.
“The authorities should tell Nigerians how it is possible for the major marketers to sell at a pump price N170/ltr of petrol and the private depot (who are middlemen), sell to IPMAN members at N217/ltr of petrol, ex-depot. It is NNPC that supplies both of them (at same price). From what is playing out, the only ineluctable conclusion is that the private depot owners, in connivance with the authorities in charge of distribution of petrol, are playing games with our collective destinies. The simple fact that the Federal Government is subsidizing petrol makes whoever has custody of it, to do in trust for Nigerians whose funds are being used to subsidize the product.
“They should not be allowed to profiteer. We call on NMDPRA to wake up and do the needful at the depots. We are in this dire position because the NNPC depots across the country are not working. These non-functional depots left IPMAN members orphaned since the beginning of the year 2022. While arrangements were made for major marketers to load at their various depots and at times at the Private Depots, no such arrangement was made for IPMAN members.”
Despite IPMAN members controlling more than 80 per cent of the filling stations across Nigeria, Akinrinade stated that any distribution arrangement that excludes IPMAN members is bound to fail.
He noted that the only immediate solution to the current quagmire is to bring IPMAN back into the distribution system, via a through-put arrangement with some private depots to warehouse petrol for loading by IPMAN members at government regulated price.