By Anayo Ndukuba
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Petroleum Dealers Association of Nigeria (PEDAN), Anambra Chapter, and Petroleum Tanker Drivers(PTD) and other operators have given a 21-day ultimatum, threatening to shut down operation in the state over multiple levies and indebtedness to members.
The operators under the aegis NNPC Enugu Depot Community issued the warning in a communiqué issued on Wednesday in Awka after the stakeholders’ meeting.
The communiqué was signed by Mr. Chinedu Anyaso and Mr. Emeka Iloafor, Chairman and Secretary respectively of IPMAN, Enugu Depot, Chief Cletus Okafor, and Mr. Peter Jideani, Chairman and secretary respectively of PEDAN and Mr. Charles Ezeme and Mr. Oliver Ekwueme of PTD Enugu Unit.
They said they were being harassed by different agencies of government under the Internally Generated Revenue with various demand notices for taxes and levies to their members against the existing agreed terms with the government.
According to them, the Transport Company of Anambra State was also indebted to one of its members to the tune of N13.6m since 2017 and has refused to pay in spite of all entreaties.
They said there had been incessant harassment and attacks on petrol stations by with the security personnel who claimed they were operating under a directive even when the state had no loading depots.
They tasked the Anambra government on operationalising a Petroleum Tanker Park in the state to stem the tide of incessant crashes and fire outbreaks.
“At the end of the meeting, we resolve that the Anambra government should direct the relevant agencies to withdraw all the demand notices revert to the previous arrangement already in place and stop harassing our members.
“Government should reach out to the Police authorities to stop forthwith the harassment and attacks on our petrol stations and advise them to focus on their surveillance on states and locations where petroleum products are loaded.
“That the payment of N13.6million to be made in favour of the marketer concerned
“Your Excellency Sir, we are expecting that government act on the above demands within 21 working days to avoid leaving us with no other option than to call for the withdrawal of services of our members as we cannot continue to operate under the present environment,” they stated.
Reacting, Chief Peter Nwosu, Special Adviser to Gov. Willie Obiano on Oil and Gas expressed displeasure over the complaints and promised to take their message to the governor who he said would address their plights.
Nwosu who is also a patron of the group said Anambra would continue to provide conducive business environment, adding that the governor would not allow the state to shutdown.
He said he was aware of the indebtedness, and that it would be resolved soon.
“His Excellency will not allow the worst to happen, the issues will be resolved amicably, on the tanker park, work is almost completed, so my assurance is that Anambra people should remain calm,” he said.