22 August 2012, Sweetcrude, ABUJA – EXECUTIVE Secretary of the Jetties and Petroleum Tank Farm Owners Association, JEPTFON, says members of the group were proceeding with shutting down their depots nationwide from today (Wednesday) over their demand for payment of outstanding fuel subsidy claims to member companies.
The Association owns about 60 per cent of depots Nigeria, with the remaining belonging to major oil marketers.
According to him, none of JEPTFON members had received payments for fuel importation, contrary to claims to that effect by the governmnet.
Stating that operators in the industry were currently being owed over N200bn by the government for fuel imported, Kaanawa said the development had had adverse effect on the operations of the affected companies as banks had refused to lend them money to continue to import fuel.
“We are closing down our operations because it is not practicable to continue in business, since the operating environment is hostile and we believe that we need to be in business. Government can still go ahead with its investigation of indicted oil marketers but payment should continue so that we can continue to import products,” he said.
He continued: “We have collected money from the banks and interest rates are running and all these things are financial burden on us and we are also owing banks.
“So at the moment, the banks are not ready to give us more money to import, and as a matter of fact, many of us have run out of products and within the period, we have been forced to pay salaries and some of us are owing salaries.
“At the moment, we are contemplating retrenching some of our workers when we close down our jetties.
“Government is owing over N200bn to our members generally in the industry for this year alone. We don’t know who they say they are paying. Maybe they are paying those briefcase people because we are not aware of any of our members that have been paid. So we have no option than to close down operation tomorrow.”