By; NIYI OGUNGBOLA, Abeokuta
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) South West has suspended the planned industrial action over incessant price increments as well as inconsistency in pricing regulations without consultation with stakeholders by the Petroleum Products Price Regulatory Agency (PPPRA).
IPMAN Zonal Chairman, Alhaji Dele Tajudeen, who spoke with journalists yesterday in Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital, said suspension of the planned strikes followed the intervention of the Director of the Departiment of State’s Security Service (DSS), David Tuska who promised to intervene and get their grievances addressed positively.
Flanked by other members of the zonal executive, which included: the Zonal Assistant Secretary, ‘Molara Olagunju, the Zonal Legal Officer, Abdul Majeed, the Mosinmi Unit Chairman, Otunba Femi Adelaja as well as the former chairman of Mosinmi Depot, Alhaji Surajudeen Adebisi Bada among others, Tajudeen explained that the DSS Director, Tuska had earlier invited the IPMAN Zonal Executive Committee in South West for a meeting wherein the entire Executive Committee agreed with him to put the strike on hold till after the Sallah.
According to him, the State’s Security boss had pleaded with IPMAN Zonal EXCO to shelve the planned strike “in the interest of the nation” and as a way of honouring him and his office, the association agreed to listen to him.
Tajudeen further explained that the association tabled some demands before the DSS Director which he promised to table before the federal government and management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) which are expected to guarantee seamless operation of petroleum distribution and dispensing across the South Western geopolitical zone.
“Parts of our demands included that IPMAN members must be included in the board of PPPRA and that of the Petroleum Equalization Fund (PEF).This will enable us to be carried along in decision making as one of the critical stakeholders in the petroleum distribution and dispensing sector”.
“Aside from that, NNPC through PPRA must immediately, stop preferential treatment being accorded major marketers in the distribution chain of the petroleum products. The agency has over the years, being granting credit facilities to some “anointed” dealer. That must stop. It is disheartening to hear that NNPC will ask our members to pay before loading our trucks, yet two months after, they would not process our papers”.
“NNPC and its allied agencies have turned our business to a mono-product. The corporation must as a matter of urgency, make available to us, other products such as A.G.O. and D.P.K. also, we want NNPC to immediately embark on rehabilitation of its facilities at Ore Depot which has over the past 20 years been moribund”.
“We also demanded that the DSS Director should help us instill on the hearing of the appropriate authorities that harassments of our members by operatives of the security agencies must stop. These were brought to the notice of the DSS Director and he has assured us of quick intervention”.
Tajudeen further told journalists that his association was dissatisfied with the situation of infrastructural facilities at all NNPC Depot, particularly at the Mosinmi in Ogun state which he said was responsible for making their trucks involved in several accidents recorded in area.
IPMAN however, demanded that the corporation should commence an immediate rehabilitation of Sagamu-Ikorodu -Mosinmi roads before to avert further wrath of the association.