The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) said the scarcity surfacing in Abuja is just the tip of the iceberg as Nigerians must prepare for the worst fuel crisis.
The IPMAN chairman in Kano State, Bashir Danmalam, told journalists in Kano State on Monday that the scarcity will be caused by the failure of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority to pay its members their outstanding bridging claims amounting to over N500 billion.
Bridging claims is the cost of hauling petroleum products from refineries and depots to fuel stations.
According to Danmalam, the debt had forced many IPMAN members out of business as they couldn’t transport the commodity due to the high cost of diesel.
“The non-payment of the debt for over eight months has crippled the businesses of many members as they cannot transport available petroleum products.
“The resurfacing of fuel queues in Abuja is just the tip of the iceberg.
“Only 5 percent of marketers are still in business,’’ Danmalam lamented.
He noted that since the merging of the Department of Petroleum Resources, the Petroleum Equalisation Fund, and the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency into the NMDPRA, the agency had paid marketers only twice.
Danmalam called on the Federal Government to intervene before the situation degenerated into a serious fuel crisis that spread to other parts of the country.
“We are not agitating for transportation fee increase; we are only clamoring for payment of our bridging claims that is more than N500 billion,’’ he stressed.