IPMAN Divided over Fuel Subsidy Removal
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) appears to be divided on its stance on the deregulation of the downstream sector, which will see the removal of fuel subsidy that is costing the nation $10 billion.
A fresh position was put forward by an IPMAN Public Relations Officer, Mr Yakubu Suleiman, when he appeared on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme on Wednesday.
In his words, “IPMAN’s position is that the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) is supporting or has supported the deregulation of the industry.”
“Removing subsidy is the only answer to make Nigeria great because there is no country that can survive without deregulating the economy,” he added.
This is a shift from an earlier position given by another recognised National Public Relations Officer of the association, Mr Ukadike Chinedu, who opposed the new president’s subsidy removal plan as of Tuesday.
“We are not in support of the removal of fuel subsidy at this time. We have said it repeatedly that our refineries should be fixed before taking such a decision that will cause galloping inflation and inflict more hardship on the masses.
“The government of President Tinubu should not adopt what is in the transition document handed over to it by the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari. Someone (Buhari) who for eight years did not remove subsidy is advising a new government to remove it.
“That is not fair and should not be adopted. Rather the new government should sit and discuss with marketers and other stakeholders how to manage the fuel subsidy regime. We now have the Dangote Refinery, but all our refineries are still not working, so we don’t think removing subsidy is the right thing to do now,” Mr Ukadike stated.
IPMAN, however, reached a consensus that it was in a dialogue with the federal government on the right way to go following the subsidy removal.
The association also urged Nigerians not to engage in panic buying as Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), also known as petrol, is sufficiently available in the country at the moment.