N500bn Bridging Claims: Prepare for worse fuel scarcity ever, IPMAN warns Nigerians
Queues at a Kano filling station (above and below). Photos: Abdulmumin Murtala.

By Abdulmumin Murtala, Kano

The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has warned of the possibility of the worst case of fuel scarcity ever in the country.

However, IPMAN said, the scarcity can be averted only if the Federal Government prevailed on the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory  Authority (NMDPRA) to pay N500 billion bridging claims by its members.

This was made public by the IPMAN chairman in Kano State, Bashir Danmalam, while addressing newsmen on Monday.

He explained that the lack of payment of the claims for the past nine months, otherwise known as the transportation claims, has pushed many of its members out of business and affected the industry due to the high cost of diesel.

Danmalam said: “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.

“Only five percent of the marketers can supply the petroleum products because of the failure of NMDPRA to pay them,” he stated.

Danmalam also noted that since the merging of DPR, PEF and PPPRA to NMDPRA they have only been paid twice.

He, therefore, called on the Federal Government to intervene and arrest the situation before it gets out of hand and spread to all 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.

“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.

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