Dealers under the aegis of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) have denied being paid N74 billion by the Federal Government as bridging claims for the transportation of petroleum products.
In a statement on Thursday, the marketers warned that Nigeria could witness “the mother of all queues” from next week if the Federal Government fails to pay the 12 months bridging claims being owed operators in the downstream oil sector.
The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) had claimed in a statement that N71,233,712,991 bridging claims and another N2,736,179,950.84 freight differentials to marketers as at June 6, 2022 had been paid.
However, Mohammed Shuaibu, Abuja-Suleja IPMAN Secretary countered the position of the NMDPRA on the payments of bridging claims.
Referring to the Chief Executive of NMDPRA, Farouk Ahmed, the IPMAN official said, “He (Ahmed) alleged he has paid marketers N74bn right? We have accused him of sabotaging our efforts by not paying us our bridging claims and that is the fact.
“Since he claims to have paid, we are not arguing but we challenge him to come out and name the marketers that he paid. Let him explain from A to Z. Let him bring out the documents. If you say you have paid our members N74bn, and we say we’ve not been paid, then come out and explain to the public.
“Anyway, by the time we down-tool fully within the next one week, he will explain to the public and the presidency how the situation got to that level, because this one is going to lead to the mother of all queues.”
Shuaibu added, “You are owing a marketer, for example, N30m or N20m, you paid him N150,000 or N200,000 and you now go on air to say you have paid the marketer. Is there any justification to that effect?”
He said the indebtedness to marketers was way beyond N50bn, adding that IPMAN had been raising the alarm because many of its members were shutting down operations due to their inability to continue in business.
“By the time we down-tool, it will be massive because the nine depots in the North and other marketers are now itching to come out with their own claims. They are ready to join in solidarity and may be by that time the government will know if we are joking or not,” he stated.