31 March 2014

Nigeria: IPMAN Plans Closure of 10,000 Filling Stations

Another round of fuel scarcity is looming following plans by the leadership of the Independent Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) to shut its over 10,000 fuel stations across the country in protest of the closure of NIPCO by the Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG).

NUPENG closed down the operations of the NIPCO Plc, a subsidiary of IPMAN, due to the ongoing leadership tussle rocking the association.

The crisis began following a court ruling declaring Chief Lawson Obasi, former zonal chairman of IPMAN, south-east region, as president of the association.

But the current IPMAN president, Aminu Abdulkadir, maintains that the association remains an indivisible entity, adding that anybody who claims to be a leader besides the elected officials is going against a court order which has not yet been vacated.

Speaking through his special adviser, media, Mr Ezekwesili Maduagwuna, yesterday, Abdulkadir maintained that the involvement by NUPENG in the operations of NIPCO was unlawful and against the industry's best practice.

He said NUPENG's action will further push the nation into a serious fuel scarcity, adding that all the 36 state chapters of the association had been directed to close down their operations this week, if NUPENG failed to reserve its stand on the issue.

"Nothing comes from nothing; except the leadership of NUPENG are taking sides on the issue, there is no reason to shut down NIPCO," Maduagwuna said.

He further called on the federal government, the inspector-general of police, the minister of labour and productivity and the minister of petroleum resources to ask the NUPENG leadership to desist from interfering in the operation of NIPCO.

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