PPMC, IPMAN and a looming fuel crisis!



The relative peace enjoyed by Nigerians in the area of fuel availability; Premium Motor Spirit otherwise referred to as Petrol, Dual Purpose Kerosene, known in street parlance as Kerosene and Automotive Gasoline oil known by consumers as Diesel is about to be made the peace of the graveyard by the high handedness of officials of the Pipelines Products Marketing Company (PPMC).

The sustained flow of fuel in the downstream sector over several post-subsidy months is due to the collaboration between the PPMC, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) and the Major Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN).

The PPMC and IPMAN appear to be at loggerheads and unless the reasons for the disagreements are sufficiently smoothened out, consumers are about to have the recurrence of fuel scarcity on their hands after a most refreshing hiatus! Unless IPMAN and the PPMC resolves their differences, petroleum products supply is about to be threatened! It is a matter burning behind several others in the country and a matter worthy of attention!

The body of independent petroleum product marketers in Warri depot under the auspices of IPMAN stakeholders representing all ethnic constituents of the marketers met severally to address issues bothering on mutual and symbiotic relationship between the management of PPMC and members of IPMAN and resolved that; The Depot management should make known to IPMAN the total volume of product available for loading by her members on a daily basis.

The present method of alternate loading days for marketers is no longer acceptable and should be discontinued forthwith. The laid down sharing formula between major marketers, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) retail wing and IPMAN should be strictly adhered to.

All IPMAN programmes should be signed by the IPMAN chairman or his designate and vetted by the sales officer of PPMC. No product meant for IPMAN should be loaded if such programmes is not signed by the chairman or his representative on a daily basis. The ‘authority to pay’ or ‘print out’ designed by the PPMC management to curtail the incidence saturation of marketers’ tickets and by extension, marketers’ capital in the PPMC system has not been allowed to work in the Warri area given the outrageous number of left-over tickets as a direct consequence of over-programming.

The practice of First In, First Out (FIFO) should be strictly enforced in the Warri Depot. The case of several programmes for the same product at different times of the day should be discouraged and subsequently discontinued forthwith. All programmes should come from the monthly cycle for marketers and no litre should be taken off the programmed volume for special programmes or off allocation.

The monthly cycle programme should be published and pasted for marketers to see and monitor as the loading of petroleum products progresses. The loading arms in Warri depot should be properly rehabilitated as the management of the PPMC has always used this as an alibi for not giving members of the IPMAN their allocated volumes. The local marketers should be serviced first before bridging marketers in conformity with global best practices in the downstream sector of Nigeria’s oil industry.

The diminishing standard of the access roads leading to and from the depot must as a matter of urgency, be rehabilitated as the present state of the road creates serious bottlenecks that hampers effective and efficient loading of petroleum products on a day to day basis.

The marketers, as customers, are the major reason why PPMC is in business and must therefore, be treated with the respect they deserve. The incessant and unproductive harassment by the members of the armed forces of Nigeria as well as other uniformed paramilitary units, private security men and women in the employment of the PPMC will no longer be tolerated as directors and representatives of petroleum products marketing companies are law abiding gentlemen/women and are not criminals.

The above summarizes the grievance of the members of the Warri arm IPMAN, enough to devalue the standard of living in Nigeria as well as increase the cost of living while condemning consumers to a black market way of life.

Good a thing the association have reported the matter on the 27th day of September, 2016 to; the depot manager of the PPMC Warri, Executive Director, Sales and Distribution of the PPMC, Abuja, Managing Director of the PPMC, Abuja, the national president of IPMAN in Abuja.

The area manager of the PPMC in Warri, Nick Ndu, when contacted, stated they are currently diverting products to Benin depot and some other private depots pending when the matter will be fully addressed. The marketers are presently loading outside the Warri depot as a result of this measure and at extra cost. How soon the matter will be addressed remains in the realm of conjecture but then, to avoid reverting to the inglorious days of fuel scarcity, all concerned stakeholders must find sustainable ways to quell this clear and looming crisis.

. Adeoye is an energy expert in Lagos.

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