Oil marketers under the aegis of Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA) yesterday expressed concern over fuel scarcity in the country, saying they don’t have petrol to sell to Nigerians.
They said the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has not sent petrol to members’ depots.
DAPPMA’s executive secretary, Mr Olufemi Adewole, who stated the association’s position, urged the NNPC to help the association so as to alleviate the suffering of Nigerians.
In a statement he issued in Lagos, Adewole said, “Our members’ depots are presently empty. However, if the PPMC/NNPC can provide us with petrol, we are ready to do 24-hour loading to alleviate the sufferings of Nigerians and for the fuel queues to be totally eliminated.
“We, petroleum products marketers, do empathise with all Nigerians who are going through difficulties at this time by spending hours on fuel queues because of the current fuel scarcity due to no fault of theirs.
“DAPPMA members import about 65 per cent of the nation’s total fuel consumption, Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) imports about 15 per cent and PPMC/NNPC import the balance of 20 per cent. However this scenario changed drastically due to several challenges faced by marketers”.
The DAPPMA executive scribe claimed that, while their members pay PPMC/NNPC in advance for petroleum products, fully paid-up petrol orders which have neither been programmed nor loaded is in excess of 500,000MT (about 800,000,000 litres).
He said, “As at today, there is enough petrol to meet the nation’s needs for 19 days at a daily estimated consumption of 35,000,000 litres. Sadly, some people have blamed marketers for hoarding products. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth.
“Hoarding is regarded as economic sabotage and we assure all Nigerians that our members are not involved in such illicit act. While all kinds of allegations have been made in the media, it is important to set the records straight, as Nigerians first, and as responsible businessmen and women who employ Nigerians.
“As it stands today, NNPC has been the sole importer of PMS into the country since October”.
Adewole added that the current import price of petrol is about N170 per litre, with NNPC, which absorbs the attendant subsidy on behalf of the federal government as the importer of last resort.
“The international price of petrol went up during the period of Hurricane Katrina and it has not dropped below USD$600/MT since then”, he noted.
Adewole said the exchange rate of the dollar to the Naira is N306 for petrol imports and the interest rate Nigerian banks charge is above 25 per cent.
His words: “Landing cost of PMS in Nigeria is above N145 per litre which means any of our members that imports will have to resort to subsidy claims, a policy already jettisoned by the government.
“It is on record that any time NNPC assumes the role of sole importer; there are issues of distribution because it is marketers who own 80 per cent of the functional receptive facilities and retail outlets in Nigeria.
“While we cannot confirm or dispute NNPC’s claim of having sufficient product stock, we can confirm that the products are not in our tanks and as such cannot be distributed. If the products are offshore, then surely it cannot be considered to be available to Nigerians”.
Adewole however assured that fuel marketers remain committed to the progress of the nation and its citizenry, as therein lies their own profitability and fulfilment.
He also traced the current scarcity of petrol to the challenges encountered by Direct-Sale-Direct-Purchase (DSDP) initiative adopted by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).