The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has called on Imo government to quickly resolve its disagreement with Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD).
IPMAN, Enugu Depot Community, which serves Imo, Anambra, Ebonyi, Abia, Benue, Kogi, Cross River and Enugu States, made the call in a statement issued in Awka on Monday.
Payment of compensation over the demolition of a fuel station has been at the centre of a faceoff between Imo State government, IPMAN and PTD.
Monday’s statement signed by Messrs Chinedu Anyaso and Emeka Iloafor, IPMAN Enugu Chairman and Secretary respectively, said the crisis in Imo was already exerting pressure on supply in neighbouring states.
IPMAN said it would embark on a sympathy strike in support of PTD which had withdrawn their services and urged governors in the region to intervene and bring an amicable solution to the Imo government- PTD faceoff.
It said the impasse was capable of throwing the entire Southeast into an energy crisis if not handled carefully.
“ We use this medium to appeal to governors of Southeast states to intervene in the lingering crisis between one of our members and Imo State government.
“The PTD and Imo government have been at loggerheads and this has led IPMAN members and PTD in Imo to withdraw their services.
“PTD has stopped supply of petroleum products to states in the southeast and while IPMAN members have shut their outlets in Imo.
“This has adversely affected supply to our members, thereby causing scarcity,’’ it stated.
Meanwhile, the price of petrol has risen to between N170 and N185 in parts of Awka as at Sunday just as some fuel stations have run out of stock.
Chief Okey Enekwe, a marketer, said fuel supply to Anambra had reduced because of the PTD strike in the zone.
Enekwe recalled that there was a similar case in Anambra that would have caused some problems, but the state government intervened by ensuring the marketer was paid and that the masses did not have to suffer.
“Tanker drivers are not bringing in products; that is why some have increased prices. As you can see, many of them are closed because they have run out of stock,’’ he said.
In his remarks, a fuel dealer, Mr Victor Emeka, said the vehicle conveying his petroleum product could not cross the bridge at River Niger because of the strike by tanker drivers.
Emeka, however, expressed regret that the cost of transportation of products had increased and urged stakeholders to prevent the crisis from escalating to other states in the region.