Fuel Scarcity: FG Meets With Major Oil Marketers

FG plans to increase fuel price to N180 per litre

Oil marketers under the aegies of Depot and Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPMAN), have said they can no longer continue to import and sell petrol at N145 per liter.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) now pays N26 subsidy on every litre of petrol imported.

Chairman, Board of Trustees of Independent Petroleum Marketers As sociation of Nigeria (IPMAN), Aminu Abdulkadir, said today's meeting will afford the opportunity to make full disclosure on ways of augmenting marketers' shortfall so that they can come back to the business of fuel importation.

According to Mr. Kachikwu, the landing cost of PMS which was N133.28 per litre in 2016, is now N171 per litre, which has resulted into stoppage of importation of the product by independent marketers.

The minister disclosed further that as a result of the N26 difference per litre between the current landing cost of the product ( N171) and pump price of N145, NNPC which had been singularly importing the product at the volume of 25 million litres per day since October a year ago, has been incurring a daily loss of about N800-N900million, cumulatively reaching N85.5billion today, in just three months.

"All these are issues we believe amounted to what we saw in December but thankfully NNPC rose to the occasion, they stepped up import, stepped up supplies that situation has since normalized".

Ibe Kachikwu, minister of state for petroleum resources, says it's a shame that Nigeria can not refine its crude oil after 40 years of activities in the downstream. Asked to comment on the decision by the President to punish erring marketers who are sabotaging government's efforts at making petrol available to Nigerians, the minister said the Federal Government was yet to find any evidence against one single individual for sabotage.

This is contrary to claims by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) which had both fingered marketers in the scarcity of fuel which marred the Yuletide celebrations for Nigerians.

He said a committee had been constituted that would meet on Wednesday under the chairmanship of Kachikwu to further go into the details and forestall a recurrence.

"From our point of view as marketers, we made our submission known to government and we emphasised the fact that this was not a marketer-related problem".

"There was no hoarding on the part of any marketer".

"Since the price of crude is directly proportional to refined products, we can not import petrol and sell at N145 anymore". Marketers are your brothers; they are Nigerian citizens; they are businessmen. NNPC is suddenly finding its importing what they probably didn't expect in terms of volume and the fact that Nigerians themselves are consuming more volume that they will normally consume in earlier months.

His statement read in part: "NNPC warns marketers not to hoard products as law enforcement agencies, working with industry regulators, have been detailed to take appropriate measures against any defaulter". "Thus, if the marketers import it at the rate at which they are selling it now, automatically they can not sell it at N145 per litre".

On how close the government is to that lasting solution, the minister responded: "We are going to sit down and find lasting solution".

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