Fuel scarcity is imminent in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Kaduna, Nasarawa, Kogi, Niger and other States as the Suleja Depot branch of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN ) announced a three-day warning strike.
Its chairman, Alhaji Yahaya Alhassan, who announced the stoppage of supply of the product from the depot, took reporters on a tour of the parked trucks in the depot at Maje, Suleja in Niger State.
Virtually all the trucks were loaded with petrol but the marketers insisted they were withdrawing their services until the Federal Government pays their outstanding bridging claims of N50.5billion.
Asked why the branch was going on strike, he said: “The Petroleum Equalization Fund (PEF) has not paid our money. We have N50.5 billion because of that we are withdrawing our services.”
The strike, which commenced on Monday would continue till Wednesday.
Should the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) fails to remit the money, the stoppage of supply would continue indefinitely, Alhassan said.
He said: “This strike is for three days. It started (today) to next tomorrow (Wednesday). After that, if the government does not meet our demand, it will continue till further notice.”
The chairman noted that all the appeals that the association made to the authority to pay the debt were ignored.
“We have sat down with him (Chief Executive Officer of NMDPRA, Farouk Ahmed) several times and he didn’t respond. We even reached out to him and after that, he didn’t call us,” he said.
The association’s Secretary, Shuaibu Muhammad, noted the warning strike was a signal from the nine depots in Northern depots out of the 21 depots nationwide.
He stated that in solidarity with the Suleja Depot, other depots in the region were withdrawing their services.
Muhammad insisted that if Ahmed said he paid over N74 billion in seven months, “the government is paying something but it is not paying something reasonable.”
He challenged the authorities to tender the evidence that he has paid the marketers for their bridging.
The NMDPRA recently claimed that it paid about N74 billion to the marketers for bridging the PMS, stressing that those that were complaining had no basis.
According to him, the aggrieved marketers were those that refused to come for the verification of their fake claims.
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