By Obas Esiedesa
ABUJA- THE Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, NMDPRA, and the South-West Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) have agreed to work together to ensure the availability of petrol to consumers.
The agreement was reached following a meeting between top executives of the marking group and the Authority Chief Executive, Engr. Farouk Ahmed in Abuja.
A statement by the General Manager, Corporate Communications Department, NMDPRA, Mr. Kimchi Apollo yesterday said the marketers pledged its continuous support to the Federal Government by ensuring that Petroleum Motor Spirit, PMS, is available at the regulated price of N165 per litre, at retail stations.
The marketers have been at odds with NMDPRA over bridging cost and ex-depot price of petrol at privately owned depots.
Engr. Ahmed, who welcomed the Association as critical stakeholders in the energy sector, assured them of the Authority’s support in their business of distributing petroleum products to all nooks and crannies in the country.
He expressed concern about the rise in petroleum product theft and pipeline vandalism, especially line 2B which services Mosimi, Ibadan and Ilorin depots, leading to revenue losses for the government.
He therefore urged South-West IPMAN to assist in checkmating the unscrupulous act as they have done in the past.
He also revealed that the Authority had received complaints of private petroleum depots selling PMS above the approved price, thereby disrupting the entire value chain, leading to higher pricing in some areas. He called on the Association to report any depot selling products to its members, above the approved ex-depot prices.
In his remarks, the Zonal Chairman, IPMAN South-West, Alhaji Dele Tajudeen Lamidi, highlighted some of the problems faced by the marketers including product sharing, rise in penalties, difficulty in getting tax clearance, high cost of doing business in the country, amongst others.
He pledged to the Authority and Nigerians that despite all the challenges the Association is facing, it has resolved not to embark on any industrial action as a conflict resolution technique.
“As far as we are concerned in the South-West, we have gone beyond strike. Strike is not the solution to any problem because if there is a strike, it affects the masses and our businesses.
“We will work together to ensure free flow of petroleum products and also make sure that products are sold at the government-regulated price, if we get them at the normal price”, the Zonal Chairman said.