By David-Chyddy Eleke
Petroleum products marketers in Anambra State have threatened to shut down operations in the state within 21 days if the government fails to address their complaints on multiple levies and indebtedness to their members.
The operators under the aegis of NNPC Enugu Depot Community made the threat in a communiqué issued after an all-stakeholders’ meeting held in Awka, the state capital, yesterday.
Members of the community are the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Petroleum Dealers Association of Nigeria (PEDAN), Anambra State chapter, and Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD).
The group made the threat in a communiqué signed by its Chairman and Secretary of IPMAN, Enugu Depot, Mr. Chinedu Anyaso and Mr. Emeka Iloafor respectively; Chairman and Secretary of PEDAN, Chief Cletus Okafor respectively; Mr. Peter Jideani, Mr. Charles Ezeme and Mr. Oliver Ekwueme of PTD Enugu unit.
The petroleum dealers said they have been harassed by different agencies of the government handling the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), who distribute various demand notices for taxes and levies to their members against the existing agreed terms they had with the government.
According to them, “At the end of the meeting, we resolved that Anambra State Government should direct the relevant agencies to withdraw all the demand notices, revert to previous arrangements already in place and stop harassing our members.
“The government should reach out to the police authorities to stop forthwith the harassment and attacks on our petrol stations as well as advise them to focus on their surveillance on states and locations where petroleum products are loaded.”
The group gave the state governor 21 days to act on their request, threatening that anything short of that would lead them to withdraw their services.
In his reaction, the Special Adviser to the state Governor, Willie Obiano, on Oil and Gas, Chief Peter Nwosu, expressed displeasure at their complaints, and promised to relay their message to the governor, who he said would address their plights.