An interview with Elder Toba Shinkaiye
Elder Toba Shinkaiye is outspoken and well versed in the activities of the petroleum marketing business in Nigeria.
Marketing Association of Nigeria(I.P.M.A.N.),
Lagos state chapter, he is concerned about the welfare of the members and the unfriendly business climate in the oil industry. In this interview, Toba spoke to Publisher Uzo Nzeogu, Director Emeka Ogbeide and Editor Eno Ekpo of EnergyNews on certain key issues prevailing in the petroleum industry.
Question » Tell us about IPMAN and your activities?
Response » I am the Secretary of IPMAN – Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria. It is a national body for all independent marketers and we have our headquarters at Abuja. We have a set of national officers that control and deal directly with PPMC at the national level. We have officials for each depot. There are about 21 depots in the country. Of course the association is in each of the depots. There are 5 zones – the south west, mid west, with Benin as the headquarters, made up of Benin and Warri depots, east with headquarters in Port Harcourt. There is south west which has 5 depots with Mosimi as headquarters, then we have the north east and the north west.
So each of these zones have their own zonal exco. In Lagos the exco is based in Ejigbo. There is the Chairman as usual and about 9 officials. Basically, what we do is that we take care of the interests of the independent marketers in terms of the loading of products at Ejigbo, sourcing of products and the general welfare of members. We also deal with the regulatory agencies like the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Petroleum Products Price Regulatory Authority (PPPRA), and Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency(LASEPA).LASEPA is now trying to force themselves into the industry. This is the structure of the association.
Question » According to your explanation, it seems that all you do is just going to the depot and collect products. My first question is this, does every member of IPMAN own a filling station?
Response » Yes. Maybe I should explain how one can become a member. For anyone to become a member of IPMAN, you must own at least onefilling station. That station must be licensed by DPR. There are two types of licenses that we have – Storage and Sales licenses issued by DPR and this is the first stage. The second stage is the Bulk Purchase Agreement that the individual marketer has with PPMC. That allows you to take products directly from PPMC. If you have just the Storage and Sales license, like if you have a station along Ikorodu road here now and you put Toba’s Petroleum and you are licensed with DPR alone, you will not have access to products from PPMC.
So you have to go for the next stage which will allow you to have direct purchase from PPMC. Thus, any company that ,one, has a station, two, the station is licensed by DPR and three, has a bulk purchase agreement with PPMC, automatically is a member of the association and PPMC makes it mandatory for any licensed marketer to be a member of the association. I think it is for reasons of control because we have over 6,000 independent marketers in the country which if PPMC should be dealing with on an individual basis will be a problem. The association now represents the interests of the independent marketers with PPMC, DPR and others.