Scarcity of petrol looms as NNPC halts petrol supply to depots

By Odunewu Segun

As a result of the frequent vandalism of pipelines, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation have now stopped pumping of Premium Motor Spirit (Petrol) to its depots in a bid to avoid losses that may arise from the incessant rupturing of pipelines that convey products to the various facilities.

National Daily however, gathered that the corporation have now devised new means of selling the product in bulk to financially buoyant oil marketer, rather than pumping to the depots from where independent dealers could get their petrol supply.

According to reports, the destruction of facilities by militants was imparting negatively on the sector, stressing that this might lead to petrol scarcity in selected locations across the country especially in those areas where the NNPC stations are located.

Reacting to the development, an executive member of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, Mr. Dibu Aderibigbe said filling stations belonging to IPMAN members were being starved of the product as a result of the non-availability of petrol at the NNPC depots.

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His words: “We are not being supplied products. There is no product in any NNPC depot for they are area afraid of pumping petrol because of issues of vandalism. They don’t want to waste the product because they know they have gone commercial and are aware they can’t report any loss to the government.”

The Corporation however, denied claims that IPMAN members could not pay outstanding funds that were needed before the PMS could be supplied by the corporation.

To buttress the claim of the IPMAN, Aderibigbe said “some of our members have paid the difference, but there are no products in the depots by specifically referring to the Ibadan and Mosimi depots that are currently empty despite having paid the difference for products in those depots.

Expatiating further, Aderibigbe said “NNPC stored the products in marine tanks and sell only to people who are ready to buy in bulk” and warned that should this practice persist, it may lead to the scarcity of the product in some selected locations in the country.

National Daily however, gathered that the refusal to supply to other marketers is not in the interest of consumers and efforts made to get the Corporation’s Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr. Garba-Deen Mohammed did not materialized as he was said to be at a meeting. Unless this situation is promptly arrested, it may lead to scarcity of the product.