The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has asked the federal government to pay marketers their bridging claims to enable them to begin lifting petroleum products from the depots.
IPMAN spokesperson, Yakubu Suleiman, in a telephone interview on Tuesday in Abuja, warned of the possibility of fuel scarcity should the federal government fail to pay the money owed to the association.
“There is no money to buy the product until the federal government pays our claims and assists in allocating a cargo of AGO to us to hasten loading from various loading deports,” Mr Suleiman said.
He also urged the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to convert the special allocation of products meant for cargo to IPMAN to address the current fuel shortage in the country quickly.
“We are calling on the authorities and the NNPC to quickly allocate a specific cargo of AGO for IPMAN to distribute it to their members to enable them to fuel their trucks for accelerated bridging loading.”
Reacting to the claims by IPMAN, an official of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), who spoke under condition of anonymity, said the federal government had been paying the marketers, though in batches.
In a news conference, IPMAN had urged Nigerians to prepare for the worst fuel crisis unless the federal government prevails on NMDPRA to pay its members their outstanding bridging claims amounting to N500 billion.
Most filling stations in Abuja were shut down at the weekend following the scarcity of petrol, resulting in long queues.
However, the NNPC attributed the sudden appearance of fuel queues in parts of Abuja to low load-outs at depots.