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Fuel scarcity looms as IPMAN blocks depot

The Chairman, IPMAN, Ore Depot, Mr Shina Amoo, confirmed that members of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria has  disrupted loading of petroleum products at private depots in Apapa, Ibadan, Ejigbo and Mosimi depots belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation on Wednesday.

This development has it that marketers blocked the facilities to protest their inability to get products due to a new payment method introduced by the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC), a subsidiary of the NNPC.

Shina said the members of the association blocked the depots with tankers to protest the new payment method.

He said that independent marketers were angry because the new payment method, called ‘PPMC Customer Express’, was imposed on them suddenly and NNPC expected immediate compliance without considering the business interests of many members of the association.

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He explained further that with the new arrangement, major marketers and very few independent marketers with huge funds could pay for over 200 trucks and load them while those who had paid for one or two trucks would be on queue for many months unattended to.

He said, “They must return to the old way of payment, which is also an online payment through Remita. IPMAN members held a meeting last night and decided to block loading depots in Ibadan, Ejigbo, Mosimi and private depots in Apapa.

“IPMAN members blocked the depots this morning with their trucks to protest the new payment method.”

Shina disclosed that action will continue until the PPMC reverts to the previous payment method.

He added, “The new payment requires various prerequisite documents like renewal of bulk purchase, renewal of licence and several other documents that are not readily available.

“Within few days of this new payment method, some northern big marketers have used the situation to short-change independent marketers in the South-West. With this, fuel scarcity is imminent.

PPMC Customer Express mode of payment was introduced without consideration for billions of naira worth of tickets which IPMAN members already tied down in NNPC system.

The new payment method was introduced in February 4, adding that since then, no independent marketer has been able to load.

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