By Musa Na Annabi
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association, IPMAN, has threatened to stop lifting fuel if the N40 billion outstanding transport claims of its members is not paid by the Federal Government, FG.
Chairman of the association for Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara and parts of Katsina States, Alhaji Sarajo Yahaya Kamba, disclosed this to newsmen in Sokoto, yesterday.
He alleged that the FG through the Ministry of Petroleum Resources is sitting on N40 billion transport claims of its members for the past 11 months which are yet to be paid despite several appeals and memos to that effect.
“It has come to our knowledge that the only language the FG understands is strike action and we will soon embark on it, if nothing is done.
“Initially the claims are paid twice a month, that is, two weeks, but now this is the eleventh month without a kobo given to us,” the IPMAN chairman stated.
According to him, most of his members have been made economically poor and unable to lift fuel from deports around the country due to non-payment of their legitimate claims as agreed by the FG.
Kamba, however, urged members of the association to join hands together irrespective of their political inclination to fight for their statutory right.
He said the rising cost of diesel has forced many of them out of business which he said they used to buy at N250 per litre and is now sold at N750 per litre which is 200 percent increase.
“My comments are under the directives of the headquarters of our union, which directed its branches nationwide to engage in a meeting with stakeholders in their branches with a view to mounting pressure on the FG to settle our claims.
“The transport claims yet to be paid to members of the association were from the month of June 2021 to May 2022 which stands to be N40 billion as I am talking to you. The meeting we are about to hold is a sort of warning strike to the authority concerned and the Nigerian public by our members,” Kamba said.