The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, South-West, has threatened to suspend lifting of petroleum products over the recent hike in petrol pump price.

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The South-West Chairman of IPMAN, Alhaji Dele Tajudeen, termed the hike in the pump price by the Federal Government as unfavourable and unfortunate.

The Chairman spoke with journalists in Abeokuta on the new petrol pump price which was announced by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency last week.

He revealed the new price regime of N143.8 came as a surprise.

He said that the government increased the depot price from N111.78 to N133.72k and the pump price to N143.8 without considering marketers’ plights.

Tajudeen disclosed that the IPMAN executive committee in the zone had decided to embark on strike if the government failed to address the issue.

He added that the regulatory agency (PPPRA) was not consistent in dealing with the stakeholders, stating that the government ought to have involved marketers and other parties before announcing any increment.

He said “It is very disheartening to hear that a new price regime is coming to effect without considering the plight of marketers who bought these products at an expensive price.

“We want to categorically state here that the last time when Federal Government put the price at N145, we still complained that it was inadequate but, now we can describe it as worse.

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“In May this year, when the price was cut to N125, many of our members ran into debts as the landing cost and depot price were at a loss. To pay bank loan became a serious issue for us.”

“We are still struggling with debts incurred before this increase with nothing to show for it, or how can somebody work with only N2 and yet we will pay workers, maintain the loans and also fulfil our obligations to the government.

“Our members had lost close to N100m as a result of unexpected reduction of pump price in recent times as many were having large volumes of petroleum products in their storage prior to such reductions.

Tajudeen lamented while IPMAN members were still grasping with a huge loss, many of which were bank loans, the NNPC/ PPPRA again did further monthly reduction.