From Mustapha Adamu
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association, IPMAN has defied the federal government ‘s directive on another reduction in the pump price of the Premium Motor Spirit, PMS from N125 to N123.50 per litre.
Hence, the association had directed its members to continue selling the product at N125 per litre until they exhausted their old stocks.
The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, had on Tuesday announced another reduction of pump price from N125 per litre to 123.50 a litre.
However, at a press conference in Kano on Wednesday, Chairman of the IPMAN, Kano zone, Bashir Dan-Mallam, said members of the association would not comply with the new price regime until after they sell all their old stocks.
According to him, the last time the Federal Government reduced the pump price of the product from N145 per litre to N125 per litre its members nationwide lost over N5.5 billion as a result of the sudden reduction.
“We call on government compensate or support our members who incurred the huge losses due to the sudden reduction in fuel pump price but nothing was given to us.
“But to our surprise the private depots owners were paid but none of our members was supported to reduce the losses they incurred. This time around we will not sell our product until the old stocks are exhausted,” he said
Dan-Mallam noted that IPMAN is the largest employer of labour besides the Federal Government, adding that members of the union will not continue to operate at loss.
“Apart from the Federal Government, IPMAN is the largest employer of labour in the country and we cannot afford to continue to support the government at this trying time while as business people we are operating at loss,” Dan-Mallam said.
He accused the management of the PPPRA of trying to sabotage the Federal Government’s efforts to ensure sustained fuel supply and distribution across the country through some policies that could plunge the sector into serious crisis.
“Even though we are happy with the new development and the Federal Government should be commended for the gesture but the government should consider the fact that no sane marketer or businessman will continue operating his/her business at loss.
“Before the last announcement, many of our members have already bought and loaded their vehicles with the product at old prices from Lagos, Port Harcourt and Warri and we spend five to seven days before reaching our destinations.So we are not going to sell the product at the new price until we sell the old stocks,” he said.
The chairman also said the union would not hesitate to ask its members to withdraw their services should any filling station of its member is closed for not selling at the new pump price of N123.50 per litre,
“We hope the Federal Government will see reason and come to the aid of our members as it supported private depots because our members will not continue to operate at loss, ” he appealed.