At the backdrop of continued scarcity of petrol across the country, there was confusion yesterday as the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, issues conflicting orders to its members on lifting of petroleum products from depots nationwide.
In a letter, sighted by Vanguard, the Chairman of IPMAN, Alhaji Mohammed Kuluwa, had directed independent marketers to stop paying and lifting petrol from depots.He had stated, “Following the critical situation as it affects our sourcing and selling of the product at losses and the action of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, NMDPRA, to impose selling of the product at lower prices, you are hereby directed to suspend selling at all filling stations. You are also to suspend payment for orders from source till further notice.”
But a few hours later, a new directive emanated from his office stating: “Having met with the Authority concerned, all filling stations should open with immediate effect and continue selling. The association will continue with further consultation and accordingly keep you informed.”
Meanwhile, checks by Vanguard showed that the depot owners, under the umbrella of Depots and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria, DAPPMAN, continued to sell petrol at over N200 per litre to the independent marketers nationwide.
In a telephone interview with Vanguard, the National Operations Controller of the IPMAN, Mr. Mike Osatuyi, said: “The depots owners are still selling at over N200 per litre. It is expected that they would comply once they finish selling their old stocks.”
Findings by Vanguard showed that the shortage has eased in Abuja, but it has persisted in Lagos and environs, with prices ranging between N280 and N350 per litre at IPMAN filling stations.
The Federal Government had, at a meeting with downstream stakeholders last week, agreed topeg the ex-depot price at N172 per litre.
Consequently, the independent marketers that incur additional cost of transporting the product to their retail outlets ended selling it to motorists and other users at between N250 and N300 per litre, depending on location. The Chief Executive officer, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, NMDPRA, Engr. Farouk Ahmed, did not respond to Vanguard telephone calls and text messages.