Queues for fuel

*Asks Government To Pay N650 Billion Debt

There is no end soon to the current acute fuel scarcity in Nigeria as the Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPPMAN) has given the Federal Government 14- day ultimatum to pay off N650 billion debts owed to its members.

The DPPMAN warned that failure to liquidate the debts within the time frame of the ultimatum, would compel its members to embark on industrial action which would include shutdown of all depots and disengagement of workers.

The money is the outstanding subsidy claims inherited by the government from the previous administration.

The Executive Secretary of the Association, Mr Olufemi Adewole, gave the 14-day ultimatum in a statement issued in Lagos.

Adewole said members did not have any other option to solve the problem of increasing debt burdens of borrowing to pay staff than to immediately commence massive staff disengagement.

“The unfortunate primary fallout of this step is the likely shut down of all DAPPMAN depots nationwide due to lack of manpower to operate same pending the time the Federal Government will pay off its indebtedness to petroleum marketers.

”This unfortunately will have a multiplier effect on the nationwide supply and distribution of petroleum products which presently is still a struggle,’’ he said.
Adewole said that a letter was written to the presidency on Jan. 24, but government failed to respond to the plight of petroleum marketers, many of whom have become financially insolvent.

“We are continually under pressure from our banks/AMCON, with looming threats of imminent take-over of our petrol stations and tank farms.

”In the light of the above and after exhausting all formal avenues to secure payment of these debts, we have given government notice to the likelihood of disengaging our personnel.

”The unfortunate primary fallout of this step is the likely shut down of all DAPPMAN depots nationwide due to lack of manpower to operate same pending the time the government will pay off its indebtedness to petroleum marketers.

”This unfortunately will have a multiplier effect on the nationwide supply and distribution of petroleum products which presently is still a struggle,’’ he said.

According to him, this letter serves as a reminder and an opportunity for government and its agencies to speedily approve and pay off its remaining subsidy era indebtedness to all the association’s members and all petroleum marketing companies. -NAN