Marketers of petroleum products have demanded a clamp down on the private depot in Apapa over alleged total disregard by some of the depot operators for the ex-depot price fixed by the Federal Government.
The government had, through its agency; Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) fixed N133.28 as price for Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also known as petrol at the depot.
Rising under the auspices of the Independent Petroleum Markers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Western zone, the marketers on Friday urged the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to clamped down private depots who are now selling petrol above the price.
Debo Ahmed, Western zone chairman of IPMAN, made the appeal in an interactive session with the energy correspondents in Lagos.
The shutdown of private depots selling petrol above government approved price, Ahmed said, became necessary to forestall the marketers’ threat to withdraw their services across Lagos State and part of Ogun State as from December 11.
He alleged that most private depots owned by Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA) in Apapa were selling petrol between N141 to N143 per litter as against Ex-depot price N 133.28.
“We urged DPR, NNPC and all other regulatory agencies saddled with monitoring of depot petroleum pricing to live to its responsibility by shutting down any private depot selling products above government-approved prices.
“The increase in the price of petrol by depots is killing our members because most marketers will be forced to shut down their stations if the situation continues. The DPR and NNPC seems to be helpless in this situation where the private depots sales petrol above,” he said.
Many of IPMAN members, Ahmed continued; “cannot buy the petrol from NNPC depots because the product was not sufficient and not all NNPC depots that are working. Ore, Ilorin are not working, while Lagos and Ibadan are doing the partial loading.”
Due to insufficient supply of petrol at NNPC depots, he continued, most marketers are forced to buy product from private depot.
He alleged that the private deports are not invoicing marketers directly, adding that they give bill which the prices are not indicated, to cover up there atrocity.
The IPMAN boss, however urged all concern authorities to urgently look into the issues to avert its members close down their over 1,200 filling stations, which might lead to fuel crisis during the yuletide festivities.
The Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPPMAN), however, punctured IPMAN’s claim. Executive Secretary of DAPPMA, Mr. Olufemi Adewole, denied the allegation of selling petrol above Ex-depot price by its members tasking IPMAN to provide names of those it found culpable.
“Our members are selling petrol at government approved price, but we should also note that not all depot owners are DAPPMA’s member. If other non-DAPPMA members sell above ex-depot price, we don’t have right over them.
“IPMAN cannot just make blanket accusation of DAPPMA selling above ex-depot price. There is no truth in what they are saying to the best of my knowledge; we are selling at government approved price, even though we are losing money.
“The challenge we are even facing now is that banks are not given us money to buy product because government owing us and they are yet to pay. But few of our members are bringing in product and buying from NNPC because they are the sole importer,’’ he said.