IPMAN strike cripples activities in Calabar, environs
The industrial action embarked upon by members of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has crippled economic and business activities in Calabar, the capital of Cross River State and its environs.
This is coming as tanker drivers’ staged a protest over N12, 800 road maintenance levy imposed on them by the state government saying their operations were permitted by Federal Government’s exclusive list.
But the state government said their action was unacceptable, insisting that they (the tanker drivers) cannot put undue pressure on facilities in the state and keep saying it was exclusive list.
The strike which started on Tuesday has brought untold hardship on commuters and motorists as a litre of fuel now sells for N500 leaving major bus stops crowded even as the NNPC Mega stations have joined in the strike in solidarity with their colleagues.
Officials of IPMAN said: “We learnt that the state government has said that any truck that enters Calabar should pay N12, 800. We don’t know where such a tax is coming from.”
A top official of IPMAN noted that, the tax cannot affect them because petroleum was under Federal Government’s exclusive list adding: “If you look at the template you find out that every tier of the government is captured. All the taxes are captured. That is why they go to Abuja and collect it from the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) at the end of the month.
Reacting to the situation however, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor and Special Assistant on Media, Christian Ita said: “The issue is that other companies have been paying the existing road maintenance bill but the tankers drivers’ union and the tank farm operators have not been paying.”