By Ignatius Ushie The National President of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) Chief Obasi Lawson has said that the problem causing the scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit (Petrol) is because of lack of effective distribution chain in the distribution of the product right from the importation to the tank farms before getting to the filling stations across the country. Obasi who spoke exclusively to Transport Day Newspaper in his Abuja office through his Chief of staff, Chief Chinedu Ukadike noted that as business men, their business is to sell petrol even at the cheapest price and make profit, so the issue of the rumour in some quarters that IPMAN is pushing for the increment of the pump price of petrol is unfounded and a lie from what he described as intruders into their business. Ukadike revealed that from their own investigation, the major importers of petroleum products now is the PPMC. “As a businessman, will you buy something and sell at a lost? No”. According to him, IPMAN are the only group of people in the distribution chain that have filling stations scattered all over the nook and crannies of the country, “yet we are the ones that are considered the least when it comes to  getting the product for sale. “If all our members are given products from PPMC at the prices these tank farm owners and their cohorts get, there will be no queue in any filling stations across the nation, because the moment we get the product, we ensure that we take it to our filling stations and sell to the public. As I speak to you, it was NNPC that told the nation that the landing cost of importing fuel is N171 per liter, so how do you now want an independent marketer to buy and sell at N145, when in most cases we buy from tank farm owners at N170, that is not how to do business”, he said. Speaking further, the Chief of Staff appealed to the relevant authorities to find a way to save them from the hands of the exploiters in the petroleum business as well as save Nigerians from untold hardship of making petrol scarce, adding that it is only when the product gets to the Independent marketers at the right prices that these scarcity will stop. He said “the interest of the bulk buyers, as they call them, or major marketers, is to buy these product and sell in bulk, not to retail the way IPMAN does, but if our members can get these products, we don’t have any other place to sell than in our filling stations, how many filling stations does both Major and Tank farm owners have? IPMAN are the people that own filling stations so should even be the first on the distribution chain and not be allowed to go cap in hands begging for products. “If you remember, when we were getting regular supply, we were even selling below the stipulated and approved pump price by the NNPC”, he said. On the way out, the IPMAN Chief said, “our refineries must function and IPMAN must be considered if not the first on the distribution chain, should be given the right standing to also import fuel, for now in as much as PPMC remains the sole importer of products, the scarcity of product is likely to continue”.]]>

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