Warri: DPR Warns Filling Stations Against Fuel Hoarding

Source: thewillnigeria.com

As marketers blame scarcity on stranded ships on nation's waterways BEVERLY HILLS, March 01, (THEWILL) - Officials of Department of Resource (DPR) weekend warned filling stations operating in Warri, Delta State not to hoard fuel.

They were also warned not to sell above government approved pump price of N97 per litre.

Sources said that the Pipeline and Products Marketing Company (PPMC), had also began monitoring filling station hoarding or diverting fuel that was reportedly supplied to them in the wake of the nationwide fuel scarcity.

This came as motorists groan over the persistent fuel scarcity in Warri, a city hosting  to the Warri Refinery and Petrochemical Company (WRPC) .

On Friday, motorists remained in queue for hours at one of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) mega stations along Airport Road where the product was available.

The product were reportedly supplied by NNPC some few days ago.

Most of the filling stations owned by the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) are shut to motorists as the operators  complained of no product to sell.

But the few ones selling the product jerked up their pump price from N97 to between N115 to N125.

This development has also affected transportation and other commodities in the metropolis as operators of tricycles also known as "Keke" in local parlance have suddenly hiked their fare with commuters bearing the brunt.

The scarcity, officials said , was due to "government bureaucratic bottleneck" to clear vessels laden with fuel on the high seas.

This was made worse as the nation's oil refinery have been moribund thus forcing markets to resort to getting supplies from abroad.

An official of the Petroleum Pipelines and Product Regulatory Agency (PPPRA ) who was on the monitoring team in Warri who spoke on condition of anonymity said the PPMC, a subsidiary of  NNPC responsible for the supply of the products, have enough fuel to supply to marketers but the marketers have being   hoarding the product to create the impression that there was shortage of fuel in the country.

He, however, confirmed that there is "delay" in clearing ships laden with petroleum products due to some "bureaucratic bottleneck" by agencies responsible for allowing ships access into the Nigeria waterways.

"What I can tell you is that there was a delay in signing the 1st quarter allocation which made it impossible for the marketers to import products but that has been resolved.

It has been signed but it would take up to two or three weeks to materialize.

"However, NNPC is currently giving out products they have in stock and what we are doing is to ensure that the products get to the filling stations.

We are also ensuring that the marketers don't adjust their metres and cheat buyers; we are ensuring they sell these products at the government approved price," he said.

But some of the independent marketers have blamed PPMC officials in Warri for allegedly allocating the products reportedly made available in the weak of the scarcity to their cronies who run the NNPC mega filling stations.

Meanwhile, a source in the petroleum industry said that the clearing processes adopted by the security agencies to allow ships laden with petroleum products into the country could be provoked by insecurity caused by Boko Haram of which the security agencies have intensified method to track inflow of arms into the country.

IPMAN President, Mr.
Abdulkadir Aminu, in a statement had said that the clearing processes adopted by the security agencies were time consuming, saying it will only lead to delays in off-loading of products which will be consequently transported to depots.

He however confirmed that many cargo ships loaded with petroleum products were being delayed on the high seas.

'The Nigerian Navy and other security personnel on the high seas have their own mode of operations as security officers, and they can only explain better how they clear these vessels,' he said.