The factional President of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Mr Sanusi Fari has called on the members to disregard the national President’s directive to reduce petroleum pump price from N145 to N140.
Fari who disclosed this in Abuja on Tuesday urged the members to continue to render their services to the public in view of the one week postponement of the elections.
He urged members not to sell petrol (PMS) above the Federal Government’s approved pump price of N145.
It would recalled okthat on Feb. 17, the National President of IPMAN, Mr Chinedu Okoronkwo directed its members to reduce petroleum pump price from N145 to N140 as part of the association’s contribution towards encouraging voters to participate in the election processes.
The directive was announced by the Northwest Zonal Chairman of the association, Alhaji Bashir Salisu Tahir in Kano who represented Okoronkwo .
Fari further reiterated that members who wish to sell at any price below N145 were free to do so because the current government policy that makes the product available encourages price competition.
“So, I have not ordered any marketer to sell at N140 and for anybody to issue such directive, it shows such person failed to face the realities on ground.
Fari lauded government for the present stability in supply of petroleum products which was better than the previous years where marketers went in search of the product, thereby making it more expensive.
He warned that no member should hoard petroleum products at this time because of the election postponement.
“My advice to Nigerians, especially the electorate is to get ready and prepare to cast their votes in the Presidential and National Assembly elections on Feb. 23, and the Governorship and State Houses of Assembly as well as FCT area council elections on March 9 by INEC.
“There should be no voter apathy for the good of our nation.
“They should be focused and get ready to cast their votes for any candidate of their choice,’’ he said.
Alhaji Debo Ahmed , the Deputy National President, IPMAN Western Zone said that Okoronkwo had no right to direct any member to sell at N140, saying that Okoronkwo does not have stations and he is not the president of the association.
Ahmed wondered how the marketers would reduce price when government as the sole importer and supplier of the product had not reduced price.
He said: “Where is Okoronkwo going to get the product that would be sold at N 140 from, the price of transportation to take product to station has increased due to increase in diesel price.
“It’s not possible to reduce price to N 140 per litre. We don’t know where he got his information from, since he is not the president. He is on his own.
“South West is not going to align with his directive; he should not politicise people’s business for his personal interest. And our cost is higher than what we are having now.
“Our cost element in our selling chain is higher than before, our cost merging cannot accommodate the N 140 directive,’’ he said.
The Chairman, Ejigbo Depot, Alhaji Ayo Alanamu said that the reduction of pump price to N140 by marketers was not possible and unrealistic.
“We are buying fuel at N 133.28 ex-depot, paying transport of N3 to stations within Lagos and N 5 outside Lagos. Other levies incurred make it N142 per litre, we are still going to pay salaries and other expenses incurred at the station.
“This directive cannot be possible; following the directives will be at marketers’ expenses.
“Out of N5 million businesses undertaken, we are only making within N250,000 to N300, 000 from which we are going to pay salaries and pay other expenses,’’ he said.
Also, Kunle Bamigboye, the South West, Chairman of IPMAN condemned Okoronkwo’s directive to reduce pump price due to election, adding that “h e is not speaking on behalf of South-West marketers.
“NNPC has not reduced its price and depot owners have not either, while would he direct members to reduced price?
“ We all have sympathy for the current president but he should not use the business as bargaining power.
“I can say emphatically that Okoronkwo is not speaking on our behalf in the South-West, l want to believe he’s wrongly quoted,’’ he said.
It would be recalled that Okworonkwo had directed that the implementation of the directives should take effect from Wednesday.
He said that the decision followed last Saturday’s postponement of Presidential and National Assembly elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)