N500bn debt: Another fuel scarcity looms

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Nigeria’s Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has warned that the refusal of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) to pay its members their bridging claims of N500 billion could lead to a fuel crisis.

This was disclosed in a news conference in Kano on Monday, by IPMAN’s state chairman, Alhaji Bashir Danmalam who called on the Federal Government to prevail on the agency to pay the debt.

He warned that if the FG does not intervene there would be a serious fuel crisis in the country as the situation has resulted in only 5 percent of marketers still remaining in the business.

Danmalam urged that bridging claims, which is the cost of transporting petroleum products from refineries and depots to fuel stations, is owed to the association to the tune of N500 billion by the NMDPRA.

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He added that “The non-payment of the debt for over eight months has crippled the businesses of many members as they cannot transport available petroleum products.

“The resurfacing of fuel queues in Abuja is just a tip of the iceberg. Only 5 per cent of marketers are still in business,” Danmalam added.

Danmalam noted that since the merging of the Department of Petroleum Resources, the Petroleum Equalisation Fund, and the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency into the NMDPRA, the agency had paid marketers only twice.

“We are not agitating for a transportation fee increase; we are only clamouring for payment of our bridging claims that is more than N500 billion,” he said.