Petroleum Marketers Decry High Cost of Operation In South East
Petroleum products marketers in Anambra have called on the government of Anambra State to be considerate with their levies and taxes to enable them stay in business.
The marketers made the plea at a meeting of Petroleum Dealers Association of Nigeria (PEDAN), Anambra chapter in conjunction with the leadership of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria(IPMAN), Enugu Zone in Awka on July 20..
They said the meeting was to discuss the consolidated Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) to Anambra government of N100, 000 per annum which it wanted to increase.
Speaking to journalists after the meeting, Mr Chinedu Anyaso, Chairman of IPMAN, Enugu Depot Community said members were not averse to the proposed increase but pleaded that it should be marginal.
Anyaso said the marketers proposed an increase of not more than 20 percent and that the government should stop the collection of levy by any task force after paying the officially agreed rate.
He said marketers were ready to cooperate with the government of Prof. Chukwuma Soludo to build a prosperous Anambra, adding that they would help to ensure full compliance within two months
He said they would commence the enumeration and enrollment of filling station operators across the state for direct payment into the state coffers while urging that the government should disband the task force purportedly operating on its approval.
“Government has not come up with a new rate but they said we should anticipate it, so in view of prevailing economic realities and challenges of staying in business, we have proposed a 20 percent increase with the assurance that the union will help to ensure full compliance.
“We call on the State government to respect the Petroleum Industry Act Law 48(1) which gives the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority the sole right to monitor and supervise activities of filling station outlets.
“We resolved that we are not going to entertain visits from any task force outside the NWDPRA, every other body should refer to them,” he said.
Anyaso said the petroleum industry was highly regulated with fixed purchasing and selling prices but some operators were going out of business due to the high cost of running the business.
He said instead of placing huge levy on marketers, governments in the Southeast zone should help them procure products with relative ease by revamping the Enugu depot as they had been relying on Lagos, Calabar, Warri and Port Harcourt for sourcing.
The chairman who said most marketers in the zone were being owed Petroleum Equalisation Fund running into billions called on the Federal Government to honour their claims without further delay.
He said marketers in Southeast were still selling cheaper other areas including Lagos where they bought products.
“Our business money is tied down with PEF, the Federal Government through NMDPRA should pay us because members are owing banks with growing interest but they don’t care about these challenges.