The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) and the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) are at loggerheads over the pump price of petrol.
As fuel scarcity worsened in many parts of the country in the last fortnight, many fuel stations increased the pump price of petrol higher than the official N165 per litre.
In Bayelsa for instance, the price of a litre of petrol went as high as N300 per litre.
NUPENG issued a 24-hour ultimatum to IPMAN members on Sunday to revert to the official pump price of N165 per litre of petrol, but IPMAN says such directive is not within the former’s purview.
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Mr Douglas Iyike, Chairman, IPMAN Benin Depot stated on Monday, February 28, in Lagos that NUPENG’s ultimatum was misplaced.
He emphasised that NUPENG as a union had no powers to take over the duties of regulatory agencies in the petroleum sector.
According to him, the increment is due to the hike in the ex-depot price of petrol which should be the area where NUPENG should direct its threat rather than directing same at marketers.
“We have read in newspapers the supposed 24-hour notice issued to marketers regarding the increment in the pump price of petrol.
“We want to place it on record that the increment is not due to any fault of oil marketers because we can only sell based on the price at which we buy petrol from the depots.
“There has been an increment in the ex-depot price which has left marketers with no option than to increase the pump price of petrol above the official N165 per litre in recent weeks.
“We believe that addressing the issue of the ex-depot price should be the focus of NUPENG and not attempting to picket petrol stations which might lead to a breakdown of law and order,’’ he stated.
Iyike urged NUPENG to channel its energy to the activities of some of its members who engage in reckless driving, illegal charges and diversion of petroleum products, instead.