Oil Marketers Issue Ultimatum Over ₦200 Billion Debt

Oil Marketers Issue Ultimatum Over ₦200 Billion Debt. At the press conference in Abuja on Tuesday, Mazi Oliver Okolo, the Unit Chairman of Aba Depot for the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), issued a stern warning regarding the non-payment of ₦200 billion bridging claims.

Okolo stated that if the outstanding claims were not settled promptly, IPMAN would take drastic action, potentially leading to disruptions in the supply of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), commonly known as petrol.

The threat issued by Mazi Oliver Okolo, with the backing of the national leadership of IPMAN, comes amidst the worsening fuel scarcity across Nigeria.

According to Okolo, the debt of ₦200 billion is owed by the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NMDPRA).

In a communique released after the press conference, Okolo stated that despite a directive from Petroleum Minister (Oil) Heineken Lokpobiri in February 2024 for payment, only ₦13 billion has been paid to IPMAN members.

This unpaid debt has severely affected their businesses, leading to some members shutting down operations and laying off employees.

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Okolo attributed the current nationwide petrol scarcity to the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), the sole importer of petroleum products.

He claimed that NNPC Ltd sells the products to private depots at exorbitant prices, making it difficult for IPMAN members to sell at the agreed pump price after paying additional transportation costs.

PMAN members called on President Bola Tinubu to intervene in the matter, highlighting the detrimental impact on their businesses and the potential negative consequences for the masses.

The communique expressed disappointment with the NMDPRA’s handling of the debt issue, stating that many IPMAN members have gone bankrupt and lost their businesses as a result. Despite a directive from the Petroleum Minister to clear the debt within 40 days, only a fraction of the amount owed has been paid, leaving IPMAN members in a dire financial situation.