National President of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association (IPMAN), Mr. Sanusi Fari, has allayed fears of his teeming members over the scrapping of the Petroleum Equalisation Fund by the federal government.
Investigation revealed that the federal government, on Wednesday, officially scrapped the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) and the Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF).
The PEF is the special intervention Fund put in place by the federal government with the mandate to ensure price uniformity of petroleum products across the country, through the reimbursement of marketers for losses they incur in trucking products from depots to their filling stations anywhere in Nigeria.
The action of the federal government was premised on the passage and implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari after both chambers of the National Assembly had passed, clause by clause the Petroleum Industry Bill.
Two new agencies, the Upstream Regulatory Commission and Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NPRA) have since been saddled statutorily to perform the duties of the three defunct agencies.
Further investigation revealed that the leadership of the defunct agencies are now technically handing over to their successors put in place by the Minister of State, Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, at Wednesday’s inauguration.
The IPMAN President in a statement he personally signed and made available to journalists in Abuja, said there was no iota of truth in the claim by certain downstream oil sector industry operators that with the scrapping of PEF, the outstanding bridging claims owed marketers would not be paid.
Fari who urged his members not to panic maintained that the association has what it takes based on its close working relationship with the leadership of National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) and the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG) to ensure that payment of marketers bridging claims owed by PEF was not lost.
He said: “Following the scrapping of three (3) federal government agencies namely, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), the Petroleum Equalisation Fund (Management Board) and the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) as a result of the signing into law of Petroleum Industry Act, 2021 by President Muhammadu Buhari, I wish to inform our teeming members nationwide that there should not be any apprehension over the fate of our business most especially, the marketers funds still being held by the PEF (Mgt Board).
“The PIA provides for the establishment of Upstream Regulatory Commission (UPR) and Midstream and Downstream Regulatory Authority (MDRA) which the Hon. Minister of State had announced their respective CEOs as Mr. Gbenga Komolafe and Mr. Farouk Ahmed. We congratulate them and wish them success.
“Therefore, DPR, PEF and PPPRA have been collapsed into these two newly established agencies to still cater for the needs of our members.
“On behalf of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of IPMAN, I call on our members not to panic. We have what it takes based on our close working relationship with the leadership of NARTO and NUPENG, to ensure that no marketer loses any bridging claim(s) owed us by PEF(Mgt Board) in whatever way.
“Kindly continue to serve the general public in the interest of our country.”