Yemisi Izuora, Lagos
Nigeria is about to witness another major round of petrol scarcity following the determination of marketers to recover debt owed members by the federal government.
To ensure full recovery of the money a 14 day ultimatum has been handed down by the Depot and Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, DAPPMA over non settlement of over N650 billion subsidy claims.
In a letter dated 20th February 2018 and obtained by Oriental News Nigeria which was addressed to the minister of state for petroleum resources and signed by Olufemi Adewole executive secretary of the Association, DAPPMA, lamented the plight of marketers who are constantly under pressure from their creditors.
The letter which was also copied to the Vice President and Senate president read in part, “Sir, Subsequent to our letter ref: DS/ES/Presidency/16 dated 24th Jan, 2018 and copied to you (as attached), we again observe a lack of response, on the part of the Federal Government, to the plight of petroleum marketers, many of which have become financially insolvent.
We are continually under pressure by, our banks/AMCON, with looming threats of imminent take-over of our petrol stations & Tank Farms and other creditor labour unions, NARTO/PTD to whom we are substantially indebted due to past freight services.
In the light of the fore going, Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPPMAN) members do not have any other option open to us to forestall increasing debt burdens of borrowing to pay staff than to immediately commence massive staff disengagement as earlier forewarned in our letter of 24th January, 2018, where we had, in the light of the above and after exhausting all formal avenues to secure payment of these debts, alerted the Federal Government, via a 21-day notice to the likelihood of disengaging personnel; a last resort to curtail spiralling borrowings and interests in the effort to meet salary obligations to underutilised personnel”.
The Association noted that the unfortunate primary fallout of this step is the likely shut down of all DAPPMAN depots nationwide due to lack of man power to operate same pending the time the Federal Government will pay off its indebtedness to petroleum marketers. This unfortunately will have a multiplier effect on the nationwide supply and distribution of petroleum products which presently is still a struggle.
“This letter serves as a fresh 14-day reminder from today and an opportunity for the Federal Government tiers and its agencies to speedily approve and pay off its remaining subsidy era indebtedness to all our members and indeed all petroleum marketing companies.
Whilst we would remain expectant of Federal Government’s positive response and financial instruments to offset the debts owed, please accept the assurances of our highest regards”, the letter stated.