The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association (IPMAN) has backed the decision of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) not to allocate petroleum products to depot owners who failed to settle debts owed Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF).
Alhaji Bashir Danmalam, the IPMAN Chairman, North west zone, said on Sunday while speaking to newsmen in Kano.
He said, “The NNPC had issued a directive on Wednesday, informing the facility owners of its decision to stop allocating the product to them until they settle the debts they owed PEF.”
According to him, the decision would go a long way in solving the problems bedeviling the oil sector in the country, including petroleum scarcity.
He noted that “the problem of petroleum scarcity is as a result of withholding the equalization fund to independent marketers.
“This decision if fully implemented, will go a long way in solving all the problems bedeviling the downstream sector.”
The chairman stressed that the problems had persisted because there was no robust and proactive measures to compel depot owners to pay the money they owed PEF.
Danmalam, therefore, urged the facility owners to comply with the directive and immediately settle the backlog of the fund they owed PEF for onward disbursement to independent marketers.
He further noted that if the funds were promptly settled by the facility owners and disbursed to independent marketers, it would ease life of Nigerians.
Independent marketers would use the money to build more filling stations across the country, thereby creating employment, he added.
“I wish to clarify that the bridging and equalisation allowances are contributions from marketers and not government grants or subsidy and it is not funded from government budget.
“It is therefore obligatory for the depot facility owners to remit the allowances to the PEF for immediate payment to marketers.
“I urge the marketers to be honest and transparent in managing the fund.
“This will make us achieve President Muhammadu Buhari’s Next Level agenda because we will build more filling stations which will create job opportunities to our teeming unemployer youths.”
The North-west IPMAN chairman commended the new Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mr Mele Kyari and his management team for their determined efforts to fix the problems bedeviling the petroleum sector.
“The appointment of Kyari is like putting a round peg in a round hole,” Danmalam said.