Depot owners deny embarking on strike

The owners of petroleum depots across the country under the aegis of Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA) have denied ever embarking on any shut-down of their depots and facilities.

The Executive Secretary of DAPPMA, Olufemi Adewole, said in a statement on Tuesday that contrary to the erroneous stories and messages being bandied about, it was the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) arm of the Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas workers (NUPENG) and the National Association of Road Transport Owners  (NARTO), who normally transport petroleum products from marketers’ depots, that embarked on the strike.

He said the strike followed their publicised complaints of not being paid their legitimate outstanding transportation claims by marketers, who participate in the Petroleum Support Fund (PSF) scheme as a result of being owed huge reimbursement for petrol imports to date.

“We have maintained that we would sell and load all petroleum products available to us even as delays in the payments of our reimbursement have continued to impede and adversely affect our operations. The suspension in loading in the last few days has been due to the strike  embarked upon by PTD-NUPENG and NARTO. These two bodies had refused to load out/lift petroleum products for distribution from our depots,” Adewole explained.

He described the allegation by the Managing Director of Capital Oil, Mr. Ifeanyi Ubah that DAPPMA member companies embarked on a strike as not only mischievous, but completely false and a figment of his imagination.

According to him, Capital Oil and Gas Industries Limited does not participate in the petroleum subsidy scheme having been disqualified from the PSF scheme by the government regulatory agency hence they do not import petrol.

The company is not owed a kobo under the PSF scheme as they cannot make any claim hence they do not feel the impact of non-payment of subsidy reimbursements, instead, the company stores petroleum products for NNPC/PPMC under a through  arrangement as do a few other members of our association,” Adewole added.

“We reiterate that since the unions embarked on this action, we have been dialoguing with them to seek amicable ways of resolving this logjam bearing in mind its harrowing and debilitating impact on the Nigerian public and the masses,” Adewole said.

He acknowledged that at the Senate Petroleum Committee’s sitting last Monday, the areas of disagreement between depot owners/marketers and the Federal Ministry of Finance and all other stakeholders were resolved, while PTD-NUPENG and NARTO also pledged their commitment to resume loading of petroleum products from all depots that have stock.

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