By Ibrahim Shuaibu
Following the reduction of the pump price of petroleum products from N125 to N123.50 per litre, the Kano State branch of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association (IPMAN) has directed its members to sell the product at N125 per litre until their old stock is exhausted.
The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) had on Tuesday announced the reduction of pump price from N125 per litre to 123.50 per litre.
The IPMAN Chairman, Kano branch, Alhaji Bashir Danmalam, who gave the directive while speaking wirh reporters in Kano on Wednesday, said members of the association will not comply with the new price regime until they have sold all their old stock.
According to him, the last time the federal government reduced the pump price of the product from N145 to N125 per litre, its members nationwide lost over N5.5 billion as a result of the sudden reduction.
“We called on the government to compensate or support our members who incurred the huge losses due to the sudden reduction in fuel pump price but nothing was given to us.
“But to our surprise, the private depot owners were paid but none of our members was supported to reduce the losses they incurred. This time around, we will not sell our product until the old stock are exhausted,” he said.
He noted that IPMAN is the largest employer of labour besides the federal government, adding that members of the union will not continue to operate at a loss.
“Apart from the federal government, IPMAN is the largest employer of labour in the country and we cannot afford to continue to support the government at this trying time while as business people we are operating at loss,” Danmalam said.
He accused the management of the PPPRA of trying to sabotage the federal government’s efforts at ensuring sustained fuel supply and distribution across the country through some policies that could plunge the sector into serious crisis.
“Even though we are happy with the new development and the federal government should be commended for the gesture but the government should consider the fact that no sane marketer or businessman will continue operating his/her business at loss.
“Before the last announcement, many of our members had already bought and loaded their vehicles with the product at old prices from Lagos, Port Harcourt and Warri and we spent five to seven days before reaching our destinations. So we are not going to sell the product at the new price until we sell the old stock,” Danmalam said.
He said the union would not hesitate to ask its members to withdraw their services should any filling station of its member is closed for not selling at the new pump price of N123.50 per litre.
“We hope the federal government will see reason and come to the aid of our members as it supported private depots because our members will not continue to operate at a loss,” he said.