The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has called on Governor Charles Soludo to pay members N900.7 million debt owed about 70 contractors for diesel supplied to the Anambra government in 2022.
IPMAN made the appeal in a letter to Mr Soludo signed by Chinedu Anyaso and Emeka Iloafor, the chairman and secretary of IPMAN, respectively, on Wednesday.
The letter was titled ‘Request For Debt Payment Of N900,664,805.00 Owed Our Members For Diesel Supplied And Services Rendered In Respect Of Street Lights’.
The association said the decision to intervene in the protracted transactions was reached at its annual general meeting in Enugu on August 24.
It explained that the debt was for March and April 2022, being the period they were approved to supply after the exit of the previous administration before they were directed to stop by the current administration.
IPMAN appealed to Mr Soludo to clear the outstanding debts, which had been verified to enable the affected members already going out of business to remain afloat.
It noted that the marketers had had their trading capitals trapped with the government and that those who obtained bank loans were in a liquidity crisis because of their inability to pay.
“We, IPMAN covering Anambra, Ebonyi and Enugu states, write to appreciate the good works you are doing in Anambra and commend all your efforts in making the state a livable place,” stated the letter. “Sir, we want to bring to your notice that your department in charge of paying for diesel and services on the Anambra streetlights has refused to offset an outstanding debt owed to our members. The debt is to the tune of N900,664,805 accrued for the months of March and April 2022.”
It added, “Mr Governor, our members are dying because of these debts and the banks are chasing them around to repay the loans given to them to do this business. We attach the breakdown of the debts for your records, sir.”
TonyCollins Nwabunwanne, commissioner for local government, chieftaincy and community affairs, whose office oversees the transaction, said he had yet to see the letter.
Mr Nwabunwanne said he was aware of the contractors’ transactions and plights, assuring that the government would take the necessary action.
“I am not aware that they wrote a letter to the governor. I have not seen it, but I know what they are talking about.”