Southeast region and some of the South-South and Middle Belt states may face imminent fuel scarcity following the threat by the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) to withdraw their service.
The group gave the notice on Sunday, November 19, in a statement signed by Prince Bobby Eberechi Dick, the zonal chairman and Emmanuel Inimgba, the zonal secretary and made availabke to newsmen.
The association decried non-payment of their bridging claims despite making the same payment to their colleagues in the Northern zone.
The statement reads in part: “We the entire members of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) Eastern Zone comprising of marketers in the mentioned states- Abia, Anambra, Akwa Ibom, Benue, Bayelsa, Cross River, Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo, Kogi and Nasarawa resolved on the following after a meeting of the zone held in our Zonal office at Owerri on the 16th of November 2023.
“That the Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Downstream/Midstream Petroleum Regulatory should as a matter of urgency pay us our bridging claims having done so to our colleagues in the North-West and North-East Zones since the subsidy removal regime on the 29th of May 2023 without any kobo owed them.
“This resolution is further necessitated by the fact that despite correspondences sent to the Chief Executive Officer on this issue, he has refused to release funds or respond to the letters.
“In view of this as stated above,we are appealing to the Honourable Minister of state forpetroleum for his immediate intervention to not only save our business but save our members from losing their properties used as collaterals from banks where these monies are tied down with defunct Petroleum Equalization Fund (PEF).
“We state equivocally that since we cannot fold our hands and see our hard earned properties taken away by the banks, if the monies are not released to us as done to the other zones by the end of November 2023, we will have no other option than to withdraw our services from the general public.”