Lagos — The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, and the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association, IPMAN, have decided not to allocate petroleum products to depot owners who fail to settle debts owed Petroleum Equalization Fund, PEF.
Bashir Danmalam, the IPMAN Chairman, Northwest zone made this known in a statement on Sunday.
According to him, the NNPC issued a directive on Wednesday, informing the facility owners of its decision to stop allocating the product to them until they settle the debts they owed PEF, adding that the decision would go a long way in solving the challenges in the oil sector including petroleum scarcity.
He noted that “the problem of petroleum scarcity is as a result of withholding the equalization fund to independent marketers.
“This decision, if fully implemented, will go a long way in solving all the problems bedevilling the downstream sector.”
The chairman stressed that the problems had persisted because there were no robust and proactive measures to compel depot owners to pay the money they owed PEF.
Mr. Danmalam, therefore, urged the facility owners to comply with the directive and immediately settle the backlog of the fund they owed PEF for onward disbursement to independent marketers.
He further noted that if the funds were promptly settled by the facility owners and disbursed to independent marketers, it would ease the life of Nigerians.
Independent marketers would use the money to build more filling stations across the country, thereby creating employment, he added.
“I wish to clarify that the bridging and equalisation allowances are contributions from marketers and not government grants or subsidy and it is not funded from government budget.
“It is, therefore, obligatory for the depot facility owners to remit the allowances to the PEF for immediate payment to marketers.
“I urge the marketers to be honest and transparent in managing the fund.
“This will make us achieve President Muhammadu Buhari’s Next Level agenda because we will build more filling stations which will create job opportunities to our teeming unemployed youths,” he said.