The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) Rivers State branch, has said Nigerians should blame depot owners for the lingering fuel scarcity.
This, they explained owing to the fact that the depot owners sell petroleum products to them (marketers) at extremely high rates and they in turn cannot now sell below the cost price.
Speaking at the annual meeting of the Department of Petroleum Resources, depot owners and other stakeholders in the oil sector, the IPMAN Chairman, Rivers State branch, Mr. Sunny Nkpe, said the union would not be able to enforce the stipulated N87/litre of petrol on his members because there was no way marketers would buy any petroleum product at a high rate from the depot and dispense to consumers at a lower rate.
Explaining that the marketers were ready to serve the public with integrity and respect, the state IPMAN chairman said:
We will not comply with the regulatory petrol price of N87 until the depot owners comply with the same directive.
The depot owners sell to us at a high price and expect us to sell at the official rate. We buy above the approved price from the depot owners. We will not accept that; we will resist any agent who will come to enforce such an order until the depots owners do the right thing.
Responding on behalf of depot owners, Mr. Paul Fred pointed out that depots in the state were currently facing several challenges, ranging from finance and allocation.
Amidst the said challenges, the depot owners are ready to play by the rule of the game in order to move the country forward.
Although, the DPR had warned earlier that the agency would no longer tolerate any depot owner and marketer who engages in any form of illegal practices in the oil and gas industry.