Pump Price Increase: IPMAN Threatens Strike

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IPMAN

By; NIYI OGUNGBOLA, Abeokuta

The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) South West, has threatened to stop lifting of petroleum products in all the Southwest depots over what the association refer to as unfavourable increment in the prices of petroleum products.

The IPMAN southwest chairman , Alhaji Dele Tajudeen said this while speaking with newsmen on the new petrol pump price as announced by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency  PPPRA

IPMAN Chairman said the new price regime of 143.8 as announced by government, came as a surprise, saying that the govt moved the depot price from 111.78 to 133.72k, and  pump price  to 140.80 without considering marketers plights, a situation he described as unfortunate.

He said the PPPRA is not consistent and in organise in dealing with the stakeholders, saying that the normal thing to have done was to involve marketers, and other parties before announcing any increment.

Tajudeen, in the statement, berated the PPPRA for announcing new price regime in the pump price of petroleum products without adequate consideration of the welfare of its members, most of whom he claimed conduct their businesses with bank loans.

He, however, disclosed that the IPMAN executive committee in the zone had resolved to embark on strike if the government failed to look into the issue.

“It is very disheartening to hear that a new price regime is coming to effect, without considering the plight of marketers who bought these products at an expensive price.

“We want to categorically state here that the last time when Federal Government put the price at N145, we still complained  that it was inadequate but now we can describe it as worse “

In May this year, when the price was cut to N125.00k, many of our members ran into debts as the landing cost and ex depot price were at a loss, to pay bank loan became a serious issues for us”.

And Federal Government needs to know that some of us obtained loans from banks to run this business and we have to pay interest on them.

“We are still struggling with debts incurred before this increase with nothing to show for it, or how can somebody work with only N2.00, and yet we will pay workers, maintain the loan and also fulfill our obligations to the government.

“Our members had lost close to 100 millions naira as a result of  unexpected reduction of pump price in recent times as many were having large volumes of petroleum products in their storage prior to such reductions .And while still grasping huge loss many of which were bank loans the NNPC/ PPPRA again did further monthly reduction. In every country where deregulations are in place, government make room for such loss by going to stations to know actual stock of volumes in order to cushion loss for marketers.This is not the case for our IPMAN members except for Private depot owners and Major oil marketers.

Yes,it is mandatory that we  meet the needs of FIRS, pay State taxes, DPR fees, pay Weight and measure fees, pay salaries of our workers, pay Union dues, pay our insurance fees and of course, buy dissle to power generators at our various filling stations. So, when we removed all these expenses we are left with almost nothing”. IPMAN Chairman stated emotionally.

Speaking on the government action to the association on the effects of coronavirus palliatives, the South West Chairman of IPMAN said it is disheartening that the government failed to consider any of its members for palliatives or for compensation for loses during the lockdown.

“To our surprise, all sectors  were assisted, but none of our members was supported to reduce the losses we incurred. This time around, we will not accept this unfourable market situation.

“Apart from the Federal Government, IPMAN is the largest employer of labour in the country and we cannot afford to continue to support the government at this trying time while as business Men and Women we are operating at loss,” he said.

“We hope the Federal Government will see reason and come to the aid of our members as it supported other sectors  because our members will not continue to operate at loss

Also we will not accept a situation where government will try to paint us black before the public and that is why we are trying to make our positions know now”Alhaji Tajudeen stressed.

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