The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) says there is no need for fear about fuel scarcity because of withdrawal of services by the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO).
IPMAN’s President, Mr Chinedu Okoronkwo, gave the assurance on Friday in an interview in Lagos.
NARTO’s National President, Alhaji Yusuf Othman, had directed petroleum tanker drivers to stay away from depots nationwide, with effect from Friday, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Othman said that the directive was aimed at protecting lives by minimising exposure to the contagious virus until the situation would be brought under control.
However, Okoronkwo said that IPMAN members had trucks and filling stations across the country that would ensure adequate supply of petroleum products during the critical period.
He said: “Energy is very crucial to the people, especially petrol which many use to power their homes and also health institutions during power cuts.
” As patriotic citizens, we cannot at this point in time shut down because millions of people are staying at home to contain spread of the coronavirus.
“There is no need for anybody to panic. The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation should open its depots, and we are ready to load products.
“IPMAN is ready to step up and ensure that there is no panic-buying of petrol which can expose more people to the virus”.
He said that IPMAN was aware of the dangers posed by the coronavirus and had been sensitising its members and employees to global best safety and health practices.
“We have educated them to maintain social distance, regular usage of hand sanitisers, washing of hands and use of face masks in the course of carrying out their duties, ” Okoronkwo said.
He commended the federal and state governments for efforts in curbing the spread of the virus, and urged Nigerians to obey directives issued by the government’s in the national interest. (