02 August 2015, Abuja – Based on its accusation of fraudulent practices against Capital Oil and Gas, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), has asked the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, to stop sending members’ allocation of petrol to the tank farm and storage facilities of Capital Oil and Gas Limited.
The factional President of IPMAN, Chinedu Okoronkwo told journalists on Thursday in Abuja that Capital Oil had in the past eight weeks failed to supply its members in the Western Zone, petroleum products that have been paid for by them to the NNPC.
Okoronkwo alleged that rather than supply IPMAN members their allocated products, Capital Oil and Gas has through its owner, Ifeanyi Ubah, resorted to selling them in the black market.
According him, over N2 billion worth of petroleum product paid for by IPMAN members is within the custody of Capital Oil who has refused to release same to them.
Okoronkwo accused Uba of being behind the crisis rocking the association. He alleged in this regards that the Capital Oil Chairman has stood behind the factional President Obasi Lawson, supporting him with the necessary resources to the detriment of the association.
“We have called you here for us to let the whole world know about the problem in this association. One Ifeanyi Ubah of Capital Oil, the chairman of Transformation Agenda of Nigeria (TAN), is the problem of this association and we will prove it here.
“Sometime in 2011, there was this peace process in IPMAN, where everybody came together as one indivisible organisation. Now Ubah was the proponent of this peace move and we have now discovered why he decided to make that peace,” Okoronkwo said.
He further stated that: “Sixty per cent of our allocation was signed off to be discharged at his tank farm. Members you will agree with me that since this agreement, our members have suffered untold hardship.”
Okoronkwo then noted that: “NNPC will put our product in Ubah tank farm, he will sell it and he will tell us there is no product.”
“From the paper I have and from our people in South-west Zone, over N2 billion worth of product is trapped in his tank farm. This is NNPC product not his own product and we are now asking questions because the agreement of 60 per cent has ended with the regime of our former president Aminu.
And for Ubah to still cause this problem, he brought one Obasi Lawson that he should be the national president of IPMAN without election,” he explained.
Also speaking at the briefing, Debo Ahmed, Western Zone Chairman of IPMAN, said about 700 products supply tickets belonging to IPMAN members are still unsupplied.
According to him: “We have about 700 tickets which for about 8 weeks now have not been supplied by Capital Oil and these are NNPC products. They told us there is no fuel. Actually, he has been selling this fuel at the black market but he refused to give us.”
However, reacting to the allegations, Capital Oil and Gas has said it had banned some marketers from lifting petroleum products from its terminal until they comply with the directive to delivers at designated located and sell at government approved price.
In a statement last night by the company and signed by Okoronkwo Orji, the company said: “It has come to our notice the unpatriotic activities of some petroleum marketers who load petroleum products at our terminal and resell the allocated product at exorbitant prices far above the stipulated prices set by government. These products are often times diverted to locations other than those approved by relevant authorities. In the past few days, some newspaper houses have investigated and published cases of alleged diversion by some marketers.
“Unscrupulous practices such as these ultimately affect the citizens of our country as products are sold at some locations above the fixed price of N87/litre for petrol. Since Capital Oil & Gas distributes a high percentage of petroleum products consumed daily nationwide, the general perception held by some filling station operators and end users may be that we are short changing Nigerians.”
“Our company is committed to making petroleum products available to Nigerians at the prices stipulated by the relevant government agencies and have indeed played a vital role in ensuring constant availability of petroleum products nationwide.”
In recent times, we have received hard knocks from some of our colleagues in the industry especially when we defied the last strike that almost crippled economic activities nationwide. An ugly situation that made banks announce early closures, shutdown of services rendered by telecommunication companies, difficulty in road transportation and flight cancellations as well as inability of hospitals, hotels, government offices etc to function due to non-availability of petroleum products to power their generators and vehicles.
*Chineme Okafor – Thisday