The leadership of the Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA) has declared its intention to shut down its facilities and lay off staff from 1 July.
Sahara Reporters said the association reached the decision at a meeting over the weekend.
It is understood that after the meeting, the leadership of the association disclosed that its members have not been happy owing to the massive debts totaling $2billion accruing from fuel subsidy payments and the accompanying foreign exchange and interest rate differentials being owed them by the Nigerian government – figures that could not be confirmed by the prominent online outlet due to the widespread corruption in the petroleum marketing regime in Nigeria.
According to DAPPMA, its members have been placed under unbearable pressure from financial institutions in the shape of threats of liquidation of their businesses and assets on account of mounting interest payments and effects of devaluation arising from the protracted non-payment of subsidy claims.
The situation, DAPPMA added, has manifested in members’ inability to meet operating expenses due to the devaluation of the naira from N197 to N285 and later to over N305 to $1 between 2014 and 2015 as well as that accrued during the subsidy regime.
“Despite several meetings and promises, including an earlier one with the Chief of Staff to the President, which was followed by the audience granted by the acting President to downstream operators on the 23 and 24 May, after which the acting President directed the Minister of Finance to settle all verified claims within two weeks, the operators have not been able to get what is due to them as they believe that the government is beginning to take them for granted,” the association said.
Another complaint made by the association is related to foreign exchange allocations by the NNPC, which it described as lopsided and injurious to its members’ well-being. This, DAPPMA explained, has rendered over 198 tank farms and depots redundant. DAPPMA added that NNPC’s intervention has ignored market realities and remains opaque.
“We are actually tired of the antics of NNPC, which has resorted to sharp practices in all aspects of petroleum product supplies and yet, incurring a huge subsidy bill with taxpayers monies,” said DAPPMA.