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FLASH: Fuel Scarcity Looms In Lagos, Abuja, Others As Marketers Shut Filling Stations

FLASH: Fuel Scarcity Looms In Lagos, Abuja, Others As Marketers Shut Filling Stations


Only Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) stations were noticeably opened in parts of Lagos and Abuja during the weekend, raising concerns that petrol scarcity may have resurfaced as several oil marketers have closed their outlets to motorists and other buyers.

Naija News understands that Abuja and its environs had slightly witnessed fuel scarcity in the previous week, which oil marketers attributed to poor road conditions and the high cost of diesel for distribution.

Vanguard, however, revealed in a recent publication that many independent and prominent oil marketers were not open for business over the weekend.

It was discovered that NNPC Limited has supply because it remains the sole importer of the product.

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Naija News understands that despite the recent deregulation announced by the federal government, other operators have not been able to import petrol because of market uncertainty and lack of foreign exchange, currently standing at more than N1,000/dollar in the informal market.

In a recent interview with journalists, the President of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Chinedu Okoronkwo, said actions had been taken to address the situation.

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“Stakeholders have been meeting, and measures have been taken to enable oil marketers to access foreign exchange at a rate that will not disturb the current price of the product,” Okoronkwo told Vanguard.

It was, however, reported that most major marketers which were opened had hiked their pump price from N615 per litre to N625 per litre.

Similarly, the Public Relations Officer, of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, Chief Chinedu Ukadike, had said: “The issue we have is that most of the private depots have gone out of stock because they get supply from NNPCL. Since NNPC is the sole importer, these private depots that independents buy products from also depend on the NNPC for their supplies. This arrangement is also encouraging profiteering.

“We have been finding it very difficult to pick products from NNPC in the past five days, and that is why you are seeing the skeletal scarcity. It is not major yet. The important point here is that despite the deregulation, NNPC is still the sole importer of PMS, and no other depot is importing.

“Some of the portals owned by NNPC have shut down and are no longer issuing authority to lift to marketers in some of their portals. This significantly shows that there is a gap in the chain of supply. But I was reassured by the MD of NNPC that they are expecting products and they will feed us very soon.

“I want to state that NNPC prices have not changed and they are still selling at N577.6/litre as ex-depot price,” he added,

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In a separate interview, the President of the Natural Oil and Gas Suppliers Association of Nigeria (NOGASA), Benneth Korie, expressed concern regarding the challenging operational circumstances faced by the downstream sector in our country. He emphasized that the closure of stations is a direct consequence of these unfavourable conditions.

Korie pointed out that “depot owners are so terribly affected by the increasing cost of the crude and exchange rate to the extent that many depots are practically deserted as their owners are unable to secure bank loans to fund their business due to high-interest rates.”


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Segun Akinlabi

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