IPMAN: Fuel scarcity cripples businesses in South East

IPMAN: Artificial fuel scarcity has hit some states in South East particularly Enugu, Ebonyi and Anambra States.

This is following leadership crisis by members of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, Enugu Depot.

IPMAN therefore ordered shutting down of filling stations across Anambra, Ebonyi and Enugu states over alleged leadership crisis.

Members of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Enugu Depot, have shutdown filling stations across Anambra, Ebonyi and Enugu states over alleged leadership crisis.

Private filling stations in Nnewi, Nnobi,  Awka, Enugu and Ebonyi were shut to public as at 6pm of filing this report on Tuesday including NNPC Nnobi/Nnewi were only a handful of motorbikes were seen appealing for sales.

IPMAN
Fuel Scarcity

Though there were long queues at Amawbia and Enugu NNPC stations even as people were seen stranded in some bus stops due to shortage of commuter buses.

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A Journalist, Aloysius Attah was worried on the artificial scarcity and wondered how he would have gone about his business if not his wisdom to fill his tank the previous day.

The Authority reports that it a was however, a different situation in Abia and Ebonyi states as there was no compliance to the strike directive as many filling stations were open and selling petroleum products at government approved rate.

Confirming the shutdown, Chief Cletus Obi-Okafor, the Chairman of Petrol Dealers Association of Nigeria in Anambra state said the action was in compliance with the order of national leadership of IPMAN.

Obi-Okafor said the total shutdown would persist until there was counter directive to members.

He said: “We were directed to close our outlets over a crisis at our Enugu Depot office, the compliance will be total until we get further directive.”

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A source alleged that it was a counter action to foil take over of IPMAN office Enugu as some unidentified persons attacked the office of IPMAN in Enugu and beat up their staff.

The official further said the move was not unconnected to the crisis at the national leadership which the court had settled.

He explained that the shutdown was in solidarity with Chief Ikechukwu Nwankwo, Chairman of Enugu in charge of Anambra, Ebonyi and Enugu states.

The source said IPMAN members in the affected states were protesting unconstitutional removal of Nwankwo as seen in their obedience to the national body to shut operation.

He said: “Yesterday, some people attacked our depot office and beat up our staff. This was in an attempt to illegally change the leadership in the depot.

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“Enugu depot has a leadership that is backed by the constitution, the industrial action will continue until the issues are resolved.”

When contacted, Nwankwo said efforts were in top gear to resolve the matter and pleaded for the understanding of customers.

In a reaction to the industrial action, the Department of Petroleum Resources said it did not anticipate the current situation.

Ahmed Gwaram, Head of Operations in the DPR’s office in Enugu said the department was already working to ensure that there was no artificial scarcity and price hike in the sale of the petroleum products as a result of the strike in the state.

Gwaram urged motorists to patronise major marketers and NNPC outlets that are open to business, assuring the public that the DPR would hold a meeting with the IPMAN executive as soon as possible to resolve the current crisis.