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Another fuel scarcity looms, as oil marketers demand payment of N5bn debt

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Increase in petrol price inevitable –Rewane

The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has demanded the Federal Government pays the N500 billion it owes to the oil marketers to avoid fuel scarcity.

IPMAN said the debt is a bridging claim, also known as transportation claims, which the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) is meant to pay to the oil marketers.

According to the association’s chairman, Bashir Dan-Mallam, during a press conference on Monday, in Kano state, since the merging of DPR, PEF and PPRA to NMDPRA, the group has only received payment twice.

It was gathered that NMDPRA is owing nine months of bridging claims, which has affected transportation of products by oil marketers – as a result, some have stopped operating.

Recall that queues had resurfaced in some petrol stations located across Abuja last weekend, and Dan-Mallam hinted that the scarcity of fuel was due to the non-payment of the N500 billion transportation claims.

Read also :Oil marketers list causes of fuel scarcity, price hike, proffer solutions

Explaining the impact of the bridging claims debt, Dan-Mallam said only 5% of all the oil marketers are currently transporting fuel, “Failure of the NMDPRA to pay the outstanding claims for about nine months, many marketers cannot transport the product because their funds are not being paid.

“Despite the high price of diesel, they manage to supply petroleum products nationwide. The resurfacing of fuel queues in Abuja is just the tip of the iceberg with regard to the petroleum scarcity.

“Out of 100 per cent, only five per cent of the marketers can supply the petroleum products because of the failure of NMDPRA to pay them”, he stressed.

Dan-Mallam further stated, “As leaders, we have to come out to say the truth because our members are suffering from the failure of the agency to pay the fund. This Petroleum Equalisation Fund is our own money we contribute to each litre. This Agency is doing more harm than good to us.”

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