The Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPMAN) has directed all its members to shut down operations at midnight of Sunday, December 9, 2018, until the Federal Government pays all the outstanding debt which it owed the marketers.
DAPMAN embarked on the strike action in less than 24 hours after the Federal Government announced that it would pay N236 billion to oil marketers as the first tranche of the outstanding subsidy claims that it owed members of the depot owners as well as those of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAM).
Responding to an enquiry on whether the association would still proceed on strike despite the government’s latest promise, the Executive Secretary, DAPPMAN, Olufemi Adewole, replied, “Yes, we are proceeding, since we didn’t get the Federal Government’s assurances of receiving the funds which would help pay December salaries.”
Adewole said the association took a bold step to stop the financial haemorrhage of its members by the painful disengagement of its loyal workforce after over three years of engaging the Federal Government in the efforts to secure the payment of all subsidy-induced debts owed marketers.
The association’s spokesperson stated that till date, the efforts “have not yielded the desired results.”
Adewole maintained that DAPPMA duly notified the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Debt Management Office, and directly informed the presidency of its of financial constraints and the challenge of paying staff salaries beyond November 30, 2018, except its members received help via the payment of all outstanding debts which include subsidy, interest and foreign exchange differentials with summation calculated up to December 31, 2018.
Nairametrics had reported that should the Federal Government fail to settle outstanding debts totalling N800 billion, there may be a fuel scarcity during the festive season as oil marketers have unanimously issued a seven-day ultimatum to the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
The oil marketers, comprising MOMAN, DPPMA and Independent Petroleum Products Importers (IPPI), said failure to meet the deadline would force its members to disengage workers from depots across the country.
Reacting to the strike warning, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), has asked the general public to disregard the threat of fuel scarcity by Nigerian oil marketers.
While making known that it was already engaging the marketers and other agencies of government to address the demands of the oil dealers, the NNPC clarified that Nigeria will not encounter a scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly known as petrol.
The corporation maintained that there was no need to panic as it had sufficient stock of petrol to keep the country wet.
More so, the NNPC has fast-tracked agreements with bulk purchase Marketers in the country, a statement released in Abuja by the corporation’s Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, said.
Quoting the NNPC Chief Operation Officer (COO), Downstream, Engr. Henry Ikem Obih, Ughamadu stated that all NNPC depots, Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) throughput partner depots, the Major Marketers depots and depots of DAPMAN members who signed the Bulk Purchase Agreement (BPA), with PPMC as well as NNPC Retail stations, MOMAN and Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) filling stations, will continue to operate at maximum levels to ensure uninterrupted distribution of petroleum products nationwide.
The statement has it that Engr. Obih urged motorists not to engage in panic buying of petroleum products during the festive season, adding that the government had agreed to settle the first tranche of the verified claims of the Oil Marketers subsidy claims in line with the approval of Federal Executive Council (FEC) and National Assembly (NASS) by Friday, 14 December 2018.