Nigerians have been warned to prepare for the biggest fuel crisis in history, according to the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria.
To avoid this, the petrol marketers’ organization requested that the Federal Government press the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority to pay its members’ outstanding bridging claims totaling more than N500 billion.
Bashir Danmalam, the IPMAN chairman in Kano State, made the statements during a news conference on Monday in Kano.
He claimed that the NMDPRA’s failure to pay bridging claims, also known as transportation claims, had put many of the organization’s members out of business because they couldn’t carry the product due to the high cost of diesel.
He lamented that non-payment of the claims by NMDPRA for over eight months had crippled the businesses of many of their members as they couldn’t transport the commodity even though it was available.
“NMDPRA is responsible for the payment of bridging claims otherwise known as transportation claims
“For failure of the NMDPRA to pay the outstanding claims for about nine months, many marketers cannot transport the product because their funds are not being paid. Despite the high price of diesel, they manage to supply the petroleum products nationwide.
“The resurfacing of fuel queues in Abuja is just a tip of the iceberg with regard to the petroleum scarcity.
“Out of 100 per cent, only five per cent of the marketers can supply the petroleum products because of the failure of NMDPRA to pay them.”
He noted that after the amalgamation of DPR, PEF, and PPRA to NMDPRA, the agency had paid them only two times.
Danmalam, therefore, called on the Federal Government to intervene before the situation degenerated into a serious fuel crisis and spread to other parts of the country.
“As leaders, we have to come out to say the truth because our members are suffering from the failure of the agency to pay the fund. This Petroleum Equalisation Fund is our own money we contribute to each litre. This agency is doing more harm than good to us,” Danmalam said.
He said Nigerians should not blame their members for the fuel scarcity but rather ascribe it to NMDPRA.
“We are not agitating for a transportation fee increase, we are only clamouring for payment of our bridging claims that is over N500 billion,” he added.