The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, and the Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria, DAPPMAN, on Friday backed the stoppage of supply of petroleum products to border areas.
The oil marketers made their views known in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
They said the move by the Federal Government to halt supplying petroleum products 20 kilometres around Nigerian border was aimed at curbing smuggling and restoring sanity to the industry.
IPMAN’s President, Chinedu Okoronkwo, told NAN that Nigeria was bigger than any single individual or group, adding that the group was in support of the directive if it could achieve the desired result.
He said: “A situation where government feels there is a lot of leakages from those areas and they want to plug it should be supported. IPMAN is in support of any policy by government in that regard.
“Our take on it is that we will not fight government because they can decide to rescind the policy tomorrow but for now, let us see what government wants to achieve with it.”
Also, Olufemi Adewole, Executive Secretary, DAPPMAN, said the directive was not in the interest of the oil marketers as it would negatively affect their investments.
Mr Adewole said: ”However, if it will curtail and help government deal with those who are actually involved in smuggling, anything the government will do to sanitise the system is okay by us.
“We have retail outlets within the 20km restriction areas but our hope is that the security agents that are monitoring
the implementation of the restriction will be able to do a sincere job.
“We don’t want the restriction to be relaxed in some parts of the country while it is adhered to strictly in other places.”
He said DAPPMAN was aware that the restriction would not be forever because the licences of the affected retail outlets were not withdrawn.
Mr Adewole noted that the directive was to ensure that the government only pay for petroleum products consumed by Nigerians which was for the good of the country.