There was a disagreement between oil marketers and the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited on Thursday over the supply of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, as queues by motorists for the commodity in filling stations grew worse.
Dealers stated that the queues in various parts of the country for petrol might continue to linger because many independent oil marketers had not been able to access the PMS for over one month.
But this was countered by the NNPCL, as it argued that the company had 30-day PMS sufficiency, though the national oil firm admitted that it was aware of the fuel queues in Nigeria.
Punch gathered that many filling stations, particularly those operated by independent marketers were shut due to a lack of products to dispense in Abuja and neighbouring Nasarawa and Niger states.
On Thursday, the National Public Relations Officer, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Chief Chinedu Ukadike, stated that “Many depots are dry. The NNPCL normally keeps products in its storage that are meant to be on the ground for some duration before fresh products come in. But as we speak, I think the stored products are exhausted.
“This is because for some time now, for the past month now, NNPCL has not been supplying petroleum products to independent marketers in the Port Refinery depot and some other depots across the country.
“In Warri and Lagos, marketers are finding it difficult to source products from the NNPCL. It is the few major marketers and tank farm owners that have products, which they now sell very exorbitantly.”
Asked to state the cost at which the tank farm owners sold the products to independent marketers, Ukadike replied, “They sell it exorbitantly at between N601 and N605/litre, which is against the approved price of NNPCL that is between N577 and N578/litre.
“So it is now becoming very difficult for independent marketers to be able to source products adequately from NNPCL, which is currently the sole importer of petroleum products in Nigeria. And this is because of the reintroduction of subsidy on petrol price.”