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Scarcity: Fuel marketers boycott private depots

Premium Motor Spirit, also known as gasoline, is still in short supply, and this is why it costs more than N250 per litre in several locations outside of Abuja and Lagos, oil merchants said on Wednesday.Information Guide Nigeria

Independent marketers, who manage more than 85 percent of filling stations in the United States, continue to have difficulty gaining access to PMS, as many of them have ceased acquiring the product from private depot owners.

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This is due to the fact that many private depots get the product at the authorised price of N148/litre, but sell it to filling stations for above N200/litre, making it difficult for retailers to distribute at the permitted pump price of between N179 and N180/litre.

However, the Federal Government, through the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, is attempting to reduce the high cost of PMS by depots, having recently sealed seven of them for distributing the product at exorbitant prices.

Wednesday, oil traders said that despite the efforts of the NMDPRA, Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, and the Department of State Services, the commodity remained scarce.

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Mohammed Shuaibu, secretary of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Abuja-Suleja, told our correspondent, “The problem in the downstream oil sector has been identified, but not resolved.”JAMB portal

Shuaibu added, “The DSS has intervened, as well as the NMDPRA and NNPC, but up till now the solution is not in sight. Allow those who have the supply chain of the entire country to access this product.

“About 85 per cent of the supply chain is controlled by independent marketers. They operate in the hinterlands and own most of the filling stations that are directly closer to the yearnings of the people at the grassroots.

“If you say Nipco, Matrix or Capital Oil have been designated to independent marketers to pick products at the regulated price, by the time they get the product, I can assure you that within a week, all the queues will disappear.”

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The IPMAN official continued, “As it is right now, you can drive into a retail outlet in the city centres of Abuja and Lagos and get the product at the controlled price. But the moment you drive outside Abuja or Lagos, you face calamity in terms of price.

This, according to Shuaibu, was because the commodity was still scarce.

“If it is in surplus it is going to force the cost down, but when the demand is high and the commodity is not available, the law of supply and demand will take its course,” he stated.

It was discovered that the NNPC had to create a programme called Customer Express to ensure that independent marketers could obtain gasoline straight from the national oil company.

However, marketers indicated that this endeavour had not yet resolved the supply restrictions connected with petroleum products due to the difficulty they encountered in gaining access to the commodity through the programme.

“As I’m talking to you, even independent marketers who have the Customer Express approval by NNPC, spend two to three weeks before they get the product,” Shuaibu stated.

He added, “Some of my members in Abuja who have been given this Customer Express ticket, they have made payments, it has been acknowledged, and for almost two weeks now they have not picked their products. So how can the problem be solved?”NYSC portal

The Customer Express ticket enables the independent marketer to buy the product directly from NNPC at the approved price, instead of getting it from a private depot at a higher price.

Shuaibu said, “The new managing director of NNPC Retail is doing his best and has been wonderful. When those who have these Customer Express apply, he approves. But when he approves, getting the product becomes a problem. We don’t know what is happening again.

Private depots shunned

The IPMAN official said the association had directed its members to boycott the private depots.

“Honestly I have instructed all my members not to even patronise them (private depots) again, because, by the time you buy from there, you will find it tough to cope due to the fact that your pump price is being regulated,” he said.

“This is where we want the NMDPRA to come in. It should find out why the products are not released despite the approvals. We want a particular place to be designated where we can access products and I assure you that if this is done, within one week, the issue of scarcity will be over.”JAMB Result



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Emediong Silver

Emediong Ekpe is a graduate of English. A professional Sports journalist/analyst, and a spoken word artist. He is passionate about decimating information and putting smiles on people's faces via news writing. Whatapp: 08088735884

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