Bad fuel: Independent marketers shut filling stations

Posted by News Express | 22 February 2022 | 478 times

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Many Independent oil marketers, yesterday, closed outlets in Lagos and other parts of Nigeria as a result of alleged lack of supply from depot owners.

National Operation Controller, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, Mike Osatuyi, who confirmed the development, said:  “Many of our members do not have the product to sell because the depot owners prefer to give priority to their outlets.

“They have shut their filling stations because there is no product. Also, some of them source it at higher prices, ranging between N165 and N175 per litre.”

However, the Kirikiri Depot Owners Association has denied hiking the ex-depot price of petrol.

The ex-depot price is the price which marketers buy products at the depot, and determines how much they sell to motorists.

In a statement yesterday, the Secretary, Kirikiri Depot Owners Association, Simeon Anabor, stated that the ex-depot price of petrol was regulated.

He stated: “Our association doesn’t operate across Lagos. As it is, the price is still being controlled by the regulatory agency. Definitely, the depots that have products in Kirikiri are still selling within the approved ex-depot price.

“Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd. was making efforts to bring in more vessels into the country. In my personal observation, the long queues are reducing at the filling stations and I know within one week or thereabout, though subject to other factors, that the queues will be cleared.

“You have to go through the processes of obtaining Proforma Invoice from Petroleum Products Marketing Company Ltd. or NNPC. Then you still have to raise funds from the banks, and these are the challenges making some depots not to have products.”

Meanwhile, Vanguard survey showed that there were still long queues in many parts of the nation, especially Badagry, where prices also rose from N190 to N250 per litre yesterday.

In Abuja, long queues continued at few stations owned by major marketers, while stations operated by independent marketers were still without the product.

Outside the city centre, where independent marketers transacted business, pump price ranged from N175 to N187 per litre at filling stations visited by Vanguard.

A government spokesman had last week in a telephone chat with Vanguard assured that the supply would improve this week.

He said: “While it is difficult to give a definite date (when the situation will normalize) but within the next few days because more vessels with clean fuel are coming through but the distribution logistics take some time, so very soon it will return to normal.

“The more PMS that comes in, the shorter the time frame but the distribution logistics also have its time frame. You can see that more filling stations are dispensing only that there are queues but the more filling stations that are receiving new supplies the less the concentration of the queues.  I am expecting that within the next week we will be seeing the receding of these queues.”

On why independent stations were selling above government regulated price, the Public Relations Officer of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, Chief Chinedu Ukadike, explained that private depot owners had increased the depot price.

“Marketers are running a business not charity. The pump price is determined by how you buy it from the depot. Government owned depots are not selling to independent marketers because they do not have the product.

“As I speak to you all the orders we placed no one has received any supply. So those who now decide to go to private depots to buy at a higher price have to sell at a price that allows them to recover their cost and make small profit,” Ukadike said.

The government had two days ago admitted its role in the importation of adulterated petrol into the country, blaming it on inspection failure.

The Minister of State Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva said: “In the last weeks, Nigerians have grappled with fuel scarcity, not because of the absence of supply of products but due to inspection failure, which allowed adulterated products into the country. “This is regrettable, and the Federal Government sympathizes with the citizenry over the unforeseen hardship, occasioned by the inevitable scarcity. Let me once again appeal to Nigerians to be patient with government in finding lasting solutions to the crisis”. (Vanguard)

Source: News Express

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