Barring last minute intervention by the Anambra State government, members of Independent Petroleum Marketers of Nigeria (IPMAN) in the state, will now shutdown operations on Aug. 25, across the state.
The impending strike is in solidarity with Siluch Oil and Gas Limited, an IPMAN member, being owed N13.6 million for petroleum products it supplied to Transport Company of Anambra State (TRACAS), since 2017.
IPMAN had on Aug.4, issued a 21-day ultimatum to the state government, to pay off the debt, and also address other issues raised by the association.
Speaking to newsmen today in Awka, Mr Chinedu Anayaso, Chairman of IPMAN, Enugu Depot, said that the shutdown would be total until all conditions were met.
Anayaso said apart from the debt payment, his members were resisting any form of tax/levy increase by the government, as the economy did not currently support such additional burden on businesses.
“We are counting days, we have not seen anything that shows that the state government is treating our letter to them with the seriousness it deserves.
“We expect that they pay the young man his money, withdraw all cases against our members for refusing to pay the levies we did not agree on, and revert to the annual unified levy we reached an agreement on,” he said.
He said that the action would be total because IPMAN, NUPENG and Petrol Tanker Drivers were together in the plan, adding that anyone who violated the order would pay a fine of N500, 000.
He also said within the period of shutdown, no product destined for Anambra would be loaded, adding sadly however, other states like Enugu and Ebonyi under the zone would be affected.
Also speaking, Uche Okoye, Managing Director of Siluch Oil and Gas, said his company was having smooth business relationship with TRACAS until the second term campaign of Gov. Willie Obiano, when they could not pay for four months.
Okoye said he had written and visited TRACAS and the transport ministry several times over the debt, but regretted that they had refused to pay him.
He noted with regrets that the money owed him was a loan secured from the bank for which he had been paying interests without making use of.
“The debt is seriously affecting me because it is a loan I obtained from bank.