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IPMAN Leader Speaks on Fuel Scarcity

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The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) disclosed Friday that the volume of products supplied to marketers at the loading points has dropped by about 50 per cent. IPMAN deputy president, Zarma Mustapha, disclosed this while speaking on a national television programme.

He said the country is in a complex situation owing to the burden of subsidy that the government is carrying which is no longer sustainable.

He noted that the importation of petroleum products by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC), Limited affects the government’s revenues.

“Sometime in July and August, the volume of lifting we had and what we have today has dropped by about 40 per cent or 50 per cent,” Mr Mustapha said.

He noted that the lingering presence of queues at fuel stations across the country could be due to the high cost of the subsidy.

“We are just assuming maybe (it’s because of) the volume of the products they are bringing in; the more the volume, the more the cost of the subsidy.

“It doesn’t seem that they are bringing in more. If they’re bringing in more, we would be having the same volume that we usually get at the loading point

As of today, with what is trending at the private depots, the volume available is not enough. The private depots also contribute by not giving the product as it is being regulated by the NNPC,” he said.

He explained further that he had not heard any official statement from NNPC or the industry’s regulatory body, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), about insufficient supply.

“But with the look of things, [with] what is going on at the loading point, the product is not enough as they usually bring it, supply it to the private depots, and we purchase from the private depots,” he said.

According to him, the NNPC is responsible for importing the products and distributing them to private depots because independent marketers do not have depots.

“Yesterday, I bought a product in Lagos at a depot at N247 per litre to be transported down to the far North… even we as independent marketers don’t really understand what is happening.

“As of yesterday, it is going for about N240 in Lagos, N235 in Warri, and N240 in Port Harcourt. In Calabar, it’s as high as N250 per litre.

“As a marketer, you will buy that product for upward transmission to where your retail outlet is. You’ll transport it yourself,” he said

In recent months, especially since the government announced plans to remove fuel subsidies, Nigerians have had a hard time getting petroleum products at filling stations. The scarcity has persisted despite the government’s repeated claims it had enough petroleum products in stock. In many parts of the country, operators of filling stations sold at prices higher than the government’s pump price.