Another fuel scarcity brewing?

The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) in Kano State has threatened to embark on strike over alleged nonpayment of 18 months bridging claim to its members. The IPMAN Chairman, Alhaji Bashir Dan-Malam, made the threat in an interview on Tuesday in Kano. “If by the first week of January the Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF) fails to pay us our 18 months bridging claims, we will have no alternative than to withdraw our services,” he said. He said the nonpayment of the claims, which amounted to between N6 billion and N7 billion, had affected the businesses of their members who usually petroleum products from Lagos, Calabar, Warri and Port Harcourt. “The nonpayment of the bridging claims and the high cost of diesel may force many of our members out of business,” Dan-Malam said. He said in spite of several promises made by the Fund in the past to pay the outstanding claims, it had not fulfilled the promise. He, therefore, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene on the issue to prevent another fuel crisis in the state and the country at large. “We are calling on President Buhari to prevail on Petroleum Equalisation Fund to pay our members because they have made promises but to no avail,” he said. Dan-Malam called on the Federal Government to direct the Kano NNPC Depot to supply diesel to its members to check the rising cost of the commodity. “Whenever there is fuel scarcity, people always blame our members. This is the reason we decided to tell the government our grievances.”

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