Fuel Loading Threatened As PEF Withdraws Staff From Debtor Depots
Loading and distribution of petroleum products may suffer hitches in the days to come as the Petroleum Equalization Fund (Management) Board (PEFMB) will today withdraw its staff from outlets belonging to members of the Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA) that are indebted to it.
Daily Trust reports that the decision to embark on the exercise was reached after an expanded management meeting on Monday chaired by the Executive Secretary of the fund, Ahmed Bobboi.
PEFMB said it has resorted to the action to compel the depot owners to defray debts running into billions owed to the fund.
About 84 oil marketing companies make up DAPPMA whose members own 80 per cent of the country’s functional product receptive facilities and are expected to make some statutory payments to the PEFMB.
The PEFMB in turn pays marketers transport allowance from the funds collected.
The General Manager, Corporate Services of PEFMB, Goddy Nnadi, who confirmed the development to our reporter said a letter has been written to the affected DAPPMA members communicating the agency’s decision to enforce collection of its debts.
“We have agreed that we will withdraw our people from facilities that owe us, effective from Wednesday (today),” Nnadi said.
“The implication is that if our people are not there to dispatch trucks, marketers will go away from there and won’t load because they will not be paid (by PEFMB) if they load from there,” he said.
“We will only pay marketers who lift from depots that have paid us,” Nnadi added.
He said the agency’s decision has become necessary in order to sustain the supply of products.
“We don’t want a situation where because of one or two people we will stop payment to other people. We want to pay from facilities that have paid,” he said.
“Why we have been careful in doing this is so that we don’t create scarcity because many of them (depot owners) are exploiting the fact that we have been lenient and if you ask them to pay they will not pay,” he said.
The Executive Secretary of DAPPMA, Mr. Olufemi Adewole, was not immediately available to react.