Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) yesterday warned of imminent scarcity of petroleum products, if private depot owners fail to settle backlog of Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF).
Chairman of IPMAN, northwest zone, Bashir Dan-Mallam, issued the threat while briefing journalists in Kano State at the weekend.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) had cautioned the private depot owners to urgently clear the PEF they owe independent marketers or risk zero allocation of products.
Dan-Mallam lamented the financial incapacitation of some marketers to lift products after failed promises of the depot owners, stressing that the marketers would not hesitate to take all necessary measures to get the PEF arrears.
The IPMAN chairman emphasised that “the problem of petroleum scarcity in most cases, among other reasons, is as result of withholding of equalisation fund to independent marketers. Thank God, the NNPC is aware and planning to take it seriously this time. That is why we commend the recent directive issued to the private owners.
“This decision, if fully implemented, will go a long way in solving the problems bedevilling the downstream sector. I want to also urge the marketers to be honest and transparent in managing the fund. The payment will enable marketers build more filling stations and create more job opportunities for our teeming youths.”
Noting that the challenge of PEF persisted due to lack of decisive and proactive policy that would mandate depot owners to do the needful, he urged the facility owners to comply with the NNPC directive of settling the PEF backlog to prevent needless scarcity.