The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria has appealed to the Inspector-General of Police to provide adequate protection for its members to enable them to sell fuel for 24 hours.
Chief Chinedu Okoronkwo, IPMAN’s President, made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday in Abuja.
Okoronkwo said the appeal had become necessary following the unions directive to its members to sell fuel for 24 hours to clear the queues that had persisted across the country.
The president, who expressed concern over the queues, said the measure was to ease the scarcity and make the product available to motorists.
He said: “We were not part of the strike that gave birth to the scarcity but we have taken the measure because when the system is burnt all other parts of the body will be affected.
“Major marketers, transporters, owners and drivers in one way or the other had issues to resolve.
“If this thing persists, we will all suffer.
“We may not even be able to pay our workers, but we are happy that the whole issue has been resolved.
“We have directed our members to service the nation 24 hours.
“We are only appealing to the police to provide adequate security for our members to protect them from hoodlums as they have started dispensing to motorists.”
The Vice President IPMAN, Alhaji Abubakar Magandi, in a separate interview, said queues persisted in most of the filling stations because most depots did not have the product.
Magandi said: “Most Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation depots don’t have the product.
“I can say that just only half of the depots are stocked with product.
“Many of them don’t have.
“Another problem is that some of the private depots that have products are having loading problem.
“The reason is that there are too many trucks for them to attend to.”
Magandi said the problem of loading slowed down the process of lifting the products, causing the queues to persist.
He also refuted the allegation that members were hoarding the product to hike the price.
He said: “There is no way IPMAN members can hoard the product because he would not want to tie down his capital, because the more we sell the more gain we make.
“We are also worried about the scarcity because it is affecting our businesses.”
Magandi, however, expressed optimism that the situation would improve in the next few days.