IPMAN demands payment of N42bn debt from Petroleum Equalisation Fund

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The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) on Thursday demanded the payment of its outstanding debts of N42 billion from the management of Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF).

Sanusi Abdul-Fari, national president of IPMAN, in a statement said failure to pay marketers their outstanding debts inclusive of N42 billion deductions from marketers’ claims could cause another disruption in fuel distribution.

Abdul-Fari called on the Federal Government to prevail on the agency to pay the outstanding debts, wondering how the agency expects marketers to transport their products when many of them have not been paid for more than a year.

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“As our dear country continues to suffer disruption over the supply of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) commonly known as petrol, occasioned by price instability, our members have shown resilience and commitment in remaining in business,” Abdul-Fari said.

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“As we continue to invest our resources in the market irrespective of price uncertainties, we call on the Federal Government to prevail on PEF to pay the huge debt it owes the marketers to enable them remain in business. The huge debt of N42 billion has a serious negative impact on our business.

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“As I speak with you, PEF owes some of our members for up to two years without payment. PEF owes marketers billions of naira. I know some independent marketers are being owed over N300 million as I am talking to you, some over 200 million individually. How are these marketers expected to remain in business under such huge debts?

“Therefore, PEF is not performing to expectations. Marketers are in support of the position as entrenched in the Petroleum Industry Bill. Post deregulation will make products abundant and marketers will get products.

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“The purchasing power of the consumers will increase as the money presently allocated to PEF will go back to consumers. These and many others are the advantages that the management of the agency and faction of the union want to take away from the masses,” he said.

He, however, called for the scrapping of the Petroleum Equalisation Fund for not being able to discharge its responsibility to the marketers effectively, adding that the agency has no role to play in a post-deregulated regime of the downstream sector of the industry.

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