The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has given Oil Marketers in Imo State, (owners of fuel stations) 24 hours to commence full dispensing of petroleum products allocated to the state by Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to the public or have the students dispense the products free of charge to customers.
The Imo State Chapter of NANS gave the order in a statement issued by the National President, Comr. Asefon Sunday Dayo and the NANS Senate President, Comr. Chuks Okarfor and read by their Public Relations Officers, Comr. Victor Ezenagu after their meeting at the NUJ Conference Centre in Owerri on Tuesday.
The students told newsmen that they condemned the artificial and unwarranted scarcity of petroleum products created by “the criminal activities of IPMA (Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria) members in Imo State.”
The Association informed that they “have observed with dismay how members of IPMAN have withdrawn the services of dispensing Federal Government subsidized PMS and allied products under the pretence of agitations and making unfounded dubious demands.”
They expressed worry that the Oil Marketers, in an effort to reap-off the people of Imo State, open at night to sale their products at an exorbitant price of between N350 to N400 per liter, noting that “the intention was to make life unbearable for Imo people and by extension Nigerians while selfishly profiting from the suffering and blood of Imo citizens.”
They said that this singular act exhibited by IPMAN members has given rise to astronomical hike in the cost of goods and services in Imo State with the consequences of making life more difficult to already impoverished Imo people.
“This is not only a criminal act but also an economic sabotage which must be resisted.”
The students said that they have received complaints of frustrations by their members as a result of this wickedness given that students now pay from Owerri Urban to their schools as much as N700- N900 per trip.
They said their members were the worst hit, warning that “students in Imo State can no longer go to school because over 80% of them are leaving off campus as a result of inadequate hostels on the campuses.”
“Therefore we feel challenged and cannot fold our arms and watch our people suffer while some elements hiding under the umbrella of IPMAN with the supervision of DPR to continue to criminally enrich themselves to the detriment of unsuspecting Imo people, especially the students.”
Consequently, the students said they have consulted with all affected groups and stakeholders in the state and have resolved to lead a struggle to ensure that the petroleum products are made available and distributed as contained in the license issued to Petroleum dealers in Imo State in particular and Nigeria in general.
In giving the Marketers 24 hours ultimatum, the students warned them to do the needful or have themselves to blame.
Chief Press Secretary/Media Adviser to Governor