Petrol scarcity looms in Nigeria as DAPPMA threatens to shut down

LAGOS-There are indications of imminent fuel crisis as a result of the suspension of fuel supply and distribution of petroleum products by members of the Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA) with effect from today. The decision of DAPPMA  members with a combined storage capacity of 2 billion litres and highest tankage volume in the country is to protest non-payment of fuel subsidy since the beginning of this year by the federal government.

The Chairman of DAPPMA, Chief Dapo Abiodun  said the decision to suspend supply and distribution of petroleum products nationwide is coming up after the expiration of the association’s 48 hours ultimatum given to the Federal Government to pay all verified and outstanding subsidy claims. Among other issues that necessitated the strike is the failure of the federal government to pay all accrued interests over and above the contractual period as well as all foreign exchange differentials arising from late payment.

“The association notes that in view of the above inadequacies by the government, the continued existence of member companies is being gravely tthreatened,”he lamented.

According to Chief Abiodun the communiqué issued at the end of an emergencey general meeting of DAPPMA, members note with dismay the unilateral decision by the Federal government to indefinitely suspend all verified and outstanding subsidy payments to members since January despite the fact that indemnity was demanded by the federal government and provided by members that participated in Petroleum Support Fund Scheme (PSF) for all payments. He complained that whilst these payments are  outstanding, the bank loans used to finance these imports continue to accrue interest over and above the 45 days allowed for reimbursement by the government. “Our members have been unfavourably exposed to the harsh effects of the devaluation of the naira that will make it impossible to fully repay the outstanding dollar denominated loans when eventually payments are made by the Federal Government,”he pointed out.

He added that DAPPMA members are very patriotic Nigerians who have made substantial and visible investments and have provided direct employment for hundreds of thousands of Nigerians and by extension to millions of Nigerians that derive income and their livelihood from business activities of members. He said that members do affirm and have given full support  to and support for the federal government’s efforts to sanitise the downstream sector of the petroleum industry. “Since the partial deregulation policy under the regime of Gen Abdusalam Abubakar in 1998, we have jointly invested over $3billion in the downstream sector of the Nigerian oil and gas industry,”he stated.

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