IPMAN South-West zone backs NMDPRA, dissociates self from Northern chapter’s proposed strike

 

Oredola Adeola

Despite the threat by the Northern chapter of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, to completely shut-down retail stations over allegation of being short-changed by the Nigeria Midstream and Downstream Authority (NMDPRA) on bridging claims, the South-West zone of the Association has pledged support for the Authority, insisting that it will not embark on any form of industrial action as a conflict resolution technique.

Alhaji Dele Lamidi, Zonal Chairman, IPMAN South West, made this known on Sunday when some of the Association’s top executive members visited the NMDPRA’s headquarter in Abuja to seek collaborations and support for the Federal Government on the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act(PIA).

The Northern Zone of IPMAN, had in a report published by EnergyDay last week, threatened to drag the NMDPRA to court over allegations that none of its members benefited from the N74 billion that the Authority said it paid to marketers.

Alhaji Bashir Danmalam, Chairman IPMAN Northern chapter, had in Kano last week, claimed that the purported payment was not true, insisting that no IPMAN member in the chapter has been paid. He alleged that the NMDPRA has only paid to “ghost marketers”.

However, the IPMAN, South-West Zonal Chairman, during the visit to NMDPRA at the weekend, pledged that despite all the challenges facing the Association, the zone has resolved to engage the Authority in addressing all the product supply bottlenecks.

He promised that the marketers in the South West will not join the Northern Zone in the purported industrial action, insisting that the zone’s conflict resolution mechanism has gone beyond industrial action.

According to him, strike is not the solution to any problem, because such action will affect the masses and domestic supply of the product across the country.

Lamidi said, “We will work together with the FG to ensure free flow of petroleum products and also make sure that products are sold at the government regulated price. If we get them at the normal price.”

Engr. Farouk Ahmed, Chief Executive of the NMDPRA, who had earlier claimed that the authority paid N71,233,712,991 bridging claims and another N2,736,179,950.84 freight differentials to oil marketers as of June 6, 2022.

The Authority Chief Executive(ACE) said that the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) received N9.96 billion while IPMAN members were paid N42.30 billion. He said NNPC retail outlets received N6.66 billion while DAPPMAN members were paid N12.30 billion. which translated to a total of N73.97 billion.

Farouk confirmed  a meeting with IPMAN members on May 17, where the bridging payment issues was extensively discussed, adding that the processes were explained and agreed upon by IPMAN.

Speaking at the weekend when he received the IPMAN South-West zone, Engr. Farouk said the marketers are critical stakeholders in the Energy sector. He therefore assured them of the Authority’s support in the business of distributing petroleum products to all nooks and crannies in the country.

The ACE expressed concern about the rise in petroleum product theft and pipeline vandalism , especially the system 2B pipeline network, which services Mosami, Ibadan and Ilorin depots, leading to revenue losses for the government.

He further urged the South West IPMAN to assist in checkmating the unscrupulous act as they have done in the past.

The NMDPRA boss also revealed that the Authority had received complaints of private petroleum depots selling PMS above the approved price, thereby disrupting the entire value chain, leading to higher pricing in some areas.

He asked them to report any depot selling products to the members , above the approved ex-depot prices.

The Authority assured the Association of its commitment to ensuring products , availability and sustainability of the industry.