IPMAN blames fuel scarcity on sharp practices

…as NNPC assures Nigerians of steady supply

By Odunewu Segun

The current petrol scarcity has been blamed on the unavailability of petrol for the marketers to load from depots.

Vice President of Independent Petroleum Marketers of Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Alhaji Abubakar Dankigari said this on Monday, adding that around 8,000 tickets are still pending to load the products at the various depots.

He said over the past few weeks, private depots owners have been selling petrol at a price higher than the official N77 per litre to marketers, lamenting that the depots have all gone dry.

“Even the private depots that used to sell the products at a higher rate no longer have the product to sell. So, that is the reason why you have been seeing those queues. The NNPC is only agency of government responsible for bringing the products into the country.”

ALSO SEE: NNPC seeks more oil swap agreement to forestall petrol scarcity

Meanwhile, a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Senator Buruji Kashamu, representing Ogun East Senatorial District has said the ongoing fuel scarcity was the handiwork of saboteurs within the within Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

He said some managers at the depots sold the products to independent marketers at the official rate of N77 and also ask them to pay additional N30 into special private account. The Senator said this sharp practice has made it difficult for retailers to sell the product to consumers at the official pump price of N86.50k.

Senator Kashamu who called on the federal government to decentralize allocation of petroleum products within the NNPC and depots in the country said depot managers have deliberately refused to allocate the product to marketers thereby causing the scarcity.

Also, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, has warned depot owners against selling petrol above the approved ex-depot price of N77 per litre.

ALSO SEE: Fuel scarcity looms as PENGASSAN paralyses PPPRA operations

In a statement, its Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr. Ohi Alegbe said the warning came against the backdrop of repeated complaints by marketers of sharp practices at the depots.

The statement quoted the minister as warning that depot owners found to be involved in selling products above the approved ex-depot prices would be severely sanctioned.

Alegbe has assured of sufficient supply of petrol as it took delivery of four more cargoes of the product at the weekend to keep the country wet. The state-run oil firm said the deliveries which amount to about 180 million litres is part of a new arrangement by the corporation to have a cargo of PMS delivered daily as from March.