The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, has called on the Federal Government to review the ban on the supply of the petroleum products to border towns across the country.
DAILY NIGERIAN reports that on Thursday, November 7, the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Hameed Ali, had announced the ban on the supply of petroleum products to all the filling stations situated within 20 kilometres to the country’s borders.
However, in an interview with journalists on Tuesday, the Kano State branch chairman of IPMAN, Bashir Dan-mallam disclosed that the ban had really inflicted hardship on the people living in the border towns.
According to him, while IPMAN is of the belief that the federal government’s decision was taken in good faith, there is the need to take the plight of the residents into consideration.
“We want to believe that the ban on the supply of fuel to filling stations to the border towns is done with the interest of the masses at heart. However, the masses are suffering as a result.
“We, therefore, call on the government to relax this decision in order to alleviate the suffering of the people living in those border towns.
“We support the government and its policies. Let me tell you that IPMAN is established on the principles of development and progress of this country.
“We support any decision taken by the government, provided it is in the interest of the masses. However, the government should look at this situation and possibly review it,” he said.
The IPMAN chairman, however, called on the Federal Government to engage stakeholders in the oil sector for a dialogue on the ways to relax the ban.
He also suggested that IPMAN was ready to surrender its filling stations in the border towns to the Federal Government to continue with the supply of the petroleum products to the areas.
Mr Dan-Mallan said: “The ban has become a pointer to the fact that we IPMAN are one of the major employers of labour in Nigeria, possibly second after the Federal Government.
“The decision has shown the world that the association is key to Nigeria’s economy in view of the enormous hardship that gripped residents of the border towns because we stopped supplying petroleum products.”