The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has urged the Federal Government to rein in Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) to ensure downstream sector stability.
Mr Anicho Oti, Zonal Secretary, IPMAN, South East Zone, made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in Lagos.
Tanker drivers, he claims, have grown so powerful that they are holding the industry hostage by threatening to strike at any time.
“We are appealing to the government to call the tanker drivers to order because they are disrupting the industry’s relative peace,” he said.
“For instance, they have been collecting IPMAN trip levies at all the petroleum depots but have refused to remit same to us.
“In Port Harcourt alone, they have collected about N89 million between May and July this year, which they are withholding and when we insisted on being paid, they are threatening to down tools.
“They are also collecting the N5,000 per truck stakeholders levy which is supposed to be shared among all stakeholders but they have refused to release the money.”
On the spate of oil theft in the country, Oti said some tanker drivers were involved and frustrating efforts of the government and other stakeholders to tackle the issue.
“We set up a monitoring unit and from our investigation so far, it was discovered that some of them were carrying adulterated products and products from illegal refineries.
“When they are caught, they are protected by some of their members with threat of going on strike,”he said.
Oti while commending efforts of the government and stakeholders in addressing the issue, said those involved in such nefarious activities should be brought to justice.
He said IPMAN would continue to support the government and other critical stakeholders in ensuring the smooth distribution of petroleum products across the country.