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Saturday, September 24, 2022

#Another Fuel Scarcity Looms As Petrol Marketers Shut Down NNPC Depots Over Non-Payment Of Allowance

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There will soon be another fuel scarcity in Nigeria as petrol marketers under the aegis of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) shutdown some depots of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) over the non-payment of accumulated transportation money.

According to reports, the association’s members who thronged the Kano NNPC depot as early as 7 am on Monday, September 5, 2022, and promised to lock down all the depots in the north for three days until their dues were paid.

Speaking, the Secretary of the Association, Alhaji Gana Girgire, said the government owes them unpaid transportation accumulated money for 10 months, and nobody is talking to them about the payments.

He said apart from the non-payment of the transportation accumulated money; their members face serious problems of lack of good roads after loading from the south and insecurities.

Gana hints that the prices of trailer tires have skyrocketed, and they had to struggle when their tires are damaged because of bad roads.

“For these and many more reasons we are embarking on this three-day picketing and protests till our money are paid,” he added.

Recall, that the country has been recently faced with fuel scarcity as members of IPMAN claimed that with the current business environment, it is unrealistic for them to be selling Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly known as petrol at N165 per litre.

It was also gathered that the scarcity was caused by a cut in the supply of petrol by 22 per cent to 65.24 million litres per day on June 20, 2022, from 79.53 litres per day in May.

This, coupled with the inability of operators to move available products from depots to their retail outlets because of the high cost of diesel, now going for N820 per litre, culminated in the present shortage of fuel.

Speaking on the situation, Akinrianade stated that this is as a result of the operating environment which has become hostile to their businesses.

Akinrinade specifically stated that the petroleum marketers were not on strike as feared but have found it difficult to operate considering the dependence on diesel whose price has skyrocketed.

“Members of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria IPMAN have shut down their stations, not because we are striking; we are not on strike,” he said.

“Rather, the business environment has been very hostile to us such that we can no longer do business under this condition. For you to load a litre of petrol, you pay in N162 per litre.”

The IPMAN official was quick to say the situation had nothing to do with the removal of subsidy or deregulation of the petroleum sector.

He listed the high cost of buying petrol at the depots, the high cost of diesel for running their station, and the increased cost of freight as the major factors responsible.

Akinrinade stressed that it was no longer feasible to sell the product at the recommended price of N165 to a litre, adding that the landing cost of petrol was between N175 to N178 naira to the litre.

“You now have to add the cost of transportation which is between N6 to N8, depending on the distance within Lagos,” he explained. “If it is outside Lagos, it is much more than that.

“So, if you add N8 to N162, you already have N170 and the government which is the regulator wants us to sell at N165; we have not even added the charges at the depot and the running cost at our stations.”

“You know what diesel says now, and you know how epileptic power supply is; we run on generator, using diesel at N800 per litre. There is no station in Lagos that uses less than 50 litres (of diesel) per day.

“So, our members can no longer sell (petrol) at N165 per litre; in fact, there is no reasonable person in this business that can sell below N180 per litre, so it is not as if we are on strike,” he concluded.

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