…Threatens ‘massive’ sack of workers
22 February 2018, Sweetcrude, Lagos – The Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association, DAPPMA, has issued a 14-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to pay off outstanding fuel subsidy debts owed petroleum marketers, otherwise risk a “massive” sack of workers under the employment of its members.
In a letter to the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, dated February 20, and signed by the group’s Executive Secretary, Mr. Olufemi A. Adewole, the group said its latest move to lay off staff stemmed from threats by banks to take over investments of its members due to unpaid loans.
“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 and tank farms and other creditor labour unions, NARTO/PTD, to whom we are substantially indebted due to past freight services,” the letter read.
DAPPMA stated that given the situation, its members do not have “any other option” open to them to forestall increasing debt burdens of borrowing to pay staff, other than to immediately commence “massive staff disengagement” as earlier forewarned in its letter of January 24, 2018.
In the letter dated January 24, copying the office of the Vice President and the Senate, House of Representatives and ten others, the group said it had “exhausted all formal avenues” to secure payment of these debts, including alerting the Federal Government through a 21-day notice to the likelihood of disengaging personnel which it described as “a last resort” to curtail spiralling borrowings and interests in the effort to meet salary obligations to underutilised personnel.
“The unfortunate primary fallout of this step is the likely shut down of all DAPPMA depots nationwide due to lack of manpower to operate same pending the time the Federal Government will pay off its indebtedness to petroleum marketers”, the statement read.
“This, unfortunately, will have a multiplier effect on the nationwide supply and distribution of petroleum products which presently is still a struggle,” it added.
DAPPMA added that the letter was a fresh 14-day reminder from Tuesday, February 20, and an opportunity for the government and its agencies to speedily approve and pay off its remaining subsidy era indebtedness to all its members, including all petroleum marketing companies.