Fuel scarcity has resurfaced across Nigeria as many oil marketers shut their outlets against motorists and other buyers on the back of an unfavourable working environment.
Long queues have also been sighted at various retail stations across the nation with the product, BusinessDay’s findings revealed.
BusinessDay reports that in Lagos, the queue sighted at the retail outlet of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited in King’s Way Road, Ikoyi, has found its way to Mobolaji Johnson Avenue road while TotalEnergies at Eric Moore has shut its gate to motorists to avoid congestion.
Saitara Petroleum and Gas at Orile Iganmu has shut down its operations while Tinpet Nigeria Limited, which is trying to keep the lights on, has increased its petrol pump price to N605 per litre as at 01:14 pm Wednesday.
In Abuja, many marketers who were opened have hiked their pump price from N615 per litre to N625 per litre.
Matrix Energy Limited in Delta state sent out a memo today stating that the prices of petrol and diesel have moved to N598 and N958 per litre respectively.
Independent marketers have hinged this development on the inability to import the product despite deregulation of the downstream sector on the back of market Instability, bad roads and a shortage of foreign currency, with the price of a dollar currently trading for more than N1,045 on the black market.
Since NNPC is still the only importer of the goods, it was gathered that it had supply. However, its affordability remains a bane for smooth operations for marketers, the report added.
Abdulkadir Mustapha, the spokesperson of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) in Borno state, was quoted saying: “The problem is that most private depots are out of stock because they are supplied by NNPC. Since NNPC is the sole importer, the private depots from which independents purchase products likewise rely on NNPC for supplies. Profiteering is also encouraged by this setup.
“We have had a difficult time picking products from NNPC in almost a week, which is why you are noticing this scarcity. The crucial aspect here is that, despite deregulation, NNPC remains the sole importer of PMS, with no other depot importing.
“Some of NNPC’s portals have closed and are no longer issuing authority to lift to marketers in some of their portals.” This demonstrates that there is a substantial gap in the supply chain. However, the NNPC promised that they are anticipating products and will feed us very soon.”
Analysing the difficulties in distributing available products, Mustapha said: “Fueling a diesel truck to take products to and from the depot of origin either lagos to Maiduguri or Warri to Calabar to Maiduguri without servicing the truck and other minor and major repairs now cost N2 million.
“This shows that per litre of petrol transportation to the far north is not less than N65 per litre.” According to his analysis, the total cost per litre of petrol will stand at N657 per litre without a return from the investment or profit for the investment of N29.6 million.