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Ipman, Ptd Accuses Private Depot Owners Of Causing Fuel Scarcity, Hike

Source: thewillnigeria.com
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SAN FRANCISCO, February 26, (THEWILL) – Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) and Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) in Edo and Delta States have allegedly accused private depots owners of causing scarcity and hike in the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), otherwise known as fuel in the country.

Addressing newsmen on Friday after a protest march by IPMAN and PTD’s representative, Comrade Alabi Muyi and Elder Joseph Okolie alleged that private depots owners were responsible for the recent hike in fuel because they corruptly sale the product above the official price to the marketers.

THEWILL recalls that the Warri Depot chapter of IPMAN had few weeks ago allegedly accused DPR of conniving with PPMC and some private depot owners who they alleged sell products to them above stipulated prices.

IPMAN officials had stormed the Warri Zonal Office of the DPR, where they allegedly accused the department of turning blind eyes to activities of private depot owners despite overwhelming evidence proving they are culpable.

IPMAN’s National Assistant Secretary, Comrade Augustine Erabor had last week led a similar protest about the development to DRP branch office in Warri to know why the Zonal Operations Comptroller of DPR, Gbenga Koku appears to be blind to the root of the cause of fuel scarcity and hike and instead chasing and imposing all sorts of fine from N100,000 to N1000,000 on IPMAN members.

“We do not get fuel to buy at the N77/liter ex-depot price and find it difficult to sell at N86. The private depot owners sell to us and compel us to pay additional charges into a private account,” he alleged.

The duo of Comrade Alabi Muyi and Elder Joseph Okolie who led the protest on Friday accused the Management of Rainoil Depot, Oghara, Ethiope West Local Government Area of Delta State of allegedly conniving with DPR to dispense the product to IPMAN members above the official rate.

The protesters called on the Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) and Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to live up to their responsibility and sanction the defaulting depot owners.

The protesters, THEWILL learnt paralyzed activities at the private depot which have been a succour to marketers in the region since the almost of the indigenous depot owners in the area have been out of business.

The protesters alleged that Rainoil has refused to supply fuel to them unless they pay a price of N105: 00 as against the stipulated N84: 50 per litre by the Federal Government saying that the product be supplied to them at N95: 00 which the company have made them pay before adding another N10: 00 extra to the product.

The marketers and tanker drivers lamented the hardship they are undergoing as a result of the “outrageous” increase of petroleum product by depot owners saying; “For the past three weeks we've been paying into Rainoil's account for PMS. The initial money we paid was N84: 50k after which they said we should pay additional N11: 00 which we complied with because fuel was not available.

“After paying the N11 yesterday, they said they could not programme that they have left over on ground. And we left, but on getting here this morning, they said we should go and pay additional N10: 00 making N21: 00. We are all saying no. Our load should be given to us for the N11: 00 we've paid.

“The Rainoil filling stations in Oghara axis are selling for N86.50 but they are selling to us, owners of filling stations at N105: 00. How do you expect us to sell to the public? You can see that at the end of the day, it is the masses that will suffer. So they should give us what we've paid for. Or else there will not be peace”, the protesters said.

Story by Joe Ogbodu