The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) says it has suspended its strike following an agreement that was reached with the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Agency (NMDPRA) on payment of bridging claims owed to its members.
Yakubu Suleiman, public relations officer (PRO), IPMAN, spoke on Arise TV’s Morning Show, monitored by TheCable on Wednesday.
On Monday, petrol marketers embarked on a three-day warning strike over unpaid N70 billion bridging claims, saying it was affecting their operations.
The warning strike led to petrol scarcity in Abuja, causing queues by motorists at the few outlets that dispensed the commodity.
The NMDPRA, in response on Tuesday, said it was making efforts to halt the three-day warning strike.
The agency said it paid over N103 billion to marketers between December 2021 and August 2022, adding that it would resolve all pending bridging claims.
However, IPMAN said the agency’s payment process “needs transparency”.
“Whenever NNPC have (sic) pushed money to their account, they need to be open in the process of payment — not to be selective,” Suleiman said.
“They need to be open so that every sector catchment area has been cashed. There is no marketer grade A or B. We are all members and marketers.
“Therefore, it has to be transparently distributed – not that they will just sit down in the office, maybe they will just find their friends or cronies or they will just pay them and start going to the press, telling the whole world that they have paid in part. Where?
“If they have paid, are we mad that every day we will sit down by the street crying? We know what we are doing. We know what we are saying.”
Suleiman said both parties –NMDPRA and IPMAN — met on Tuesday to discuss possible means of resolution.
He further thanked the management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) and Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) for their interventions.
“We have sat down yesterday with the regulatory authority. We discussed a lot. It was an open discussion and we really appreciate them. But we are still calling on the NMDPRA, to please, maintain that agreement. We have done our part. We have called off the strike so we need them to make payment as and when due,” he said.
He added that if NMDPRA failed to pay the oil marketers’ bringing claims, they would be forced to “go back to the strike” or issue an ultimatum to the NNPC for payment of the claims.
“Our capital is tied down there. That is what I want you to understand. Whether they like it or not, they are supposed to pay that money. They must pay that money,” Suleiman said.
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