By FESTUS OKOROMADU, Abuja
As Nigerians continue to grapple with uncertainty over the cost of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) commonly known as petrol, the national president of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Engr Sanusi Fari has called on the federal government to prevail on the management of the Petroleum Equalisation Fund Board (PEF) to settle outstanding debts running into billions of Naira owed its members.
Engr Fari who mandated the national publicity secretary of IPMAN, Ukadike Chinedu, to speak on issue with our reporter in Abuja during the weekend lamented that PEF’s failure to reimburse some of their members has impacted negatively on their businesses.
He, therefore, called for the scrapping of the agency stressing that it is no longer of any benefit to petroleum product marketers.
He questioned the role of PEF in the new regime of deregulation in the downstream sector.
Describing PEF as a colossal waste, Chinedu said the bureaucratic bottleneck involved in getting reimbursements from the agency is making it very difficult for their members.
“As I speak with you, PEF is owing some of our members for up to two years without payment. PEF is owning marketers billions of Naira. I cannot give an estimate because I don’t have access to their data base, but I know some independent marketers whom they are owing over N300 million as I am talking to you, some over N200 million lasting for a period of up to two years.
roads,” he said.
But refuting IPMAN’s accusation, PEF’s spokesperson Dr Goddy Nnaji said such claims are not true. He said the agency does not recognise the said IPMAN chairman and the PRO who raised the issues.
“I don’t know him, and I don’t know the person who spoke to you an Executive of IPMAN. I was at the IPMAN national executive council meeting in Kano last month, where they passed vote of confidence in PEF,” he stated.
On the allegation of failure to reimburse marketers on time, he said, “I can tell you that PEF is now fully automated and payments don’t last more than one month. And we have more marketers now. We are currently dealing with close to 10000 marketers across the country. The benefit of PEF on Nigerian society is evident.”