By Idowu Abdullahi,
The Independent Petroleum Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has disclosed that the two weeks restriction placed on movement by President Muhammadu Buhari, occasioned by increase in recorded cases of coronavirus in the country will not affect its services, saying the association members will continue operations nationwide during the lock-down.
It explained that its continuation of services to the Nigerian people will not be hindered as the stay-at-home directives does not apply to food processing, distribution, retail companies and petroleum distribution and retailing petroleum stations nationwide, adding that its members nationwide had been directed to open their filling stations for services.
IPMAN National President, Chinedu Okoronkwo, explained that the partial shutdown in some states and total shutdown in Abuja, Lagos and Ogun states respectively as measures to curtail the spread of the virus will not affect the effective distribution of petrol to customers across Nigeria till the pandemic is curbed.
Okoronkwo, through a statement the association’s National Operations Controller, Mr Mike Osatuyi, on Monday, enjoined all members of the association to work in synergy with Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), to ensure seamless operation of the sector.
“The Federal Government has assured security for our staff and members who are serving the country at this trying moment. All members of the association should work with other stakeholders in the downstream sector in ensuring seamless operation in loading in both private depots and NNPC depots nationwide,” the statement said.
The President while commending efforts by the Federal Government to mitigate the spread of the virus enjoined all IPMAN staff and members to wear their appropriate identification card in case of screening on the roads and highways.
“We commend the efforts of the Ministry of Health, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), all state governments and Federal Government and wish to reassure them of our commitment towards effective distribution of petroleum product across the nooks and cranny of the country will not be compromised. We appeal to Nigerians to adhered to government directives and maintain regular hygienic, sanitary practices as well as social distancing ,” the statement said.
Furthermore, Okoronkwo commended the Mallam Mele Kyari-led management of NNPC for assuring marketers of sufficient and prompt petroleum distribution, adding that the association will work relentlessly in ensuring sufficient petroleum products get to the users without stress.