FUEL SCARCITY: IPMAN threatens shutdown over DSS warning
The Ogun State branch of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) on Wednesday, threatened to shut down all of its depots if the Department of State Security carried out its warning to crack down on its members.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited and oil merchants received a 48-hour deadline from DSS last week to make fuel widely available.
However, IPMAN responded to the DSS’s ultimatum by issuing a statement, which was signed by its chairman, Femi Adelaja, claiming that the security agency had failed to reason with legitimate business owners who do not obtain their goods from government depots in order to sell them at prices set by the government.
Adelaja noted that the security officials should go after those who are making supplies difficult for IPMAN members.
He claimed that by threatening to pursue IPMAN members, whose enterprises, according to him, depend on loans and other credit facilities offered by commercial banks at a not-so-pleasant interest rate, the DSS had chosen the route of dishonour.
Adelaja described the DSS stance on fuel scarcity as a “ploy by government agency that had failed in its statutory responsibility.”
IPMAN therefore warned the DSS to reverse its earlier position of clamping down on IPMAN members, and as well apologise to Nigerians for its action.
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The statement read, “Rather than for the security operatives to go after those who are making supplies difficult for IPMAN members, they have chosen the path of dishonour by threatening to go after IPMAN members, whose businesses survive on loans and other credit facilities provided by commercial banks at a not-too-friendly interest rate.
“If any of the law enforcing agencies in Nigeria is genuinely concerned about the security of the country, they should go after the NNPC officials and ensure that they make the product available for independent marketers at the already agreed price and desist from the unnecessary ranting ‘of a wounded lion’.
“IPMAN regarded the DSS stance on this matter as coming from a government agency that is fastly deviating from its statutory responsibility to chasing genuine business investors around all in the name of securing the nation.
“IPMAN however, warned that should the DSS fail to reverse its position and apologise to the peace loving members of the Nigerian society, whose psyche was affected by its earlier statement, we would be left with no alternative than to close all our outlets across Ogun State.”
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