The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria on Tuesday directed its members to commence importation of refined petroleum products as the Federal Government had pledged to pay outstanding subsidy.
The National President of IPMAN, Chinedu Okoronkwo, disclosed the directive on telephone to the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos.
Okoronkwo said the directive followed assurances from government and to alleviate the sufferings of Nigerians from the ongoing national scarcity of petrol.
According to him: “We have had series of meetings with government agencies that are saddled with the payment of subsidy claims and we have been assured of prompt payment.
“IPMAN members have been instructed to commence importation of petrol into the country to avert the lingering fuel scarcity.
“The Ministers of Petroleum and Finance have assured us of prompt payment of the marketer’s money.
“We urge Nigerians not to engage in panic buying of petrol as adequate petrol will be in circulation soon.”
The IPMAN boss, however, warned its members to desist from hoarding petroleum products, adding that the association’s surveillance teams would monitor compliance nationwide.
Okoronkwo said the association would penalise marketers indulging in hoarding of petroleum products and other sharp practices.
Okoronkwo said a joint task force by IPMAN and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation had been set up to monitor petrol retailing as part of efforts to stabilise supply.
He said: “We will not hesitate to sanction any errant marketer caught hoarding the product.
“A joint task force by the NNPC and IPMAN had been set up to monitor filling stations and sanction them accordingly.
“With the quantity of petrol pumped into the country and distributed to stations by the NNPC, the corporation has indicated serious commitment to ensure effective product supply.
“l want to confirm to Nigerians and marketers that with the level of petrol injected into the country by the NNPC, there is no cause for panic buying and hoarding of petrol.”
Okoronkwo also insisted that refined petrol supplied to each depot was enough to address the nation’s current petrol supply challenges in the zone.
He added: “Once again, we have been assured by the NNPC that petrol supply will be sustained in the depots.
“I enjoin marketers to join hands with the NNPC to wet the market with product and shun hoarding.”
He lauded the programmes of the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company, a subsidiary of the NNPC, saying that without them the sanity in the downstream oil sector would not have been possible.
He advised the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency to give import licences to serious marketers who were willing to import petrol.
NAN reports that the management of NNPC on Monday began fresh measures to halt artificially induced petrol scarcity in some parts of the country.
The corporation said it planned to import more than one billion litres of petrol in March to address short fall in supply.