Fuel crisis to end this week – MOMAN

By The Citizen
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The fuel scarcity situation in Nigeria is set to abate, as major fuel marketers, yesterday, said they have secured the delivery of about 74 million litres of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, at their depots in Lagos.

The Executive Secretary, Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), Mr. Obafemi Olowore, stated that three vessels, namely United Enterprises, Ocean Centurion and Alizea are discharging fuel in PWA jetty, NOJ jetty and BOP jetty all belonging to MOMAN.

According to him, United Enterprise is discharging 22 million litres of fuel, Ocean Centurion is discharging 22 million litres and Alizea - 30 million litres.

He said, 'That gives you a total of 74 million litres of fuel. It is unfortunate that we find ourselves in this situation but everything will ease out this week because we now have products.

'Some of our members would receive their product this weekend while others would receive theirs as from next week. So there is no need for panic buying, no need to hoard fuel and my contact in government has assured us that there is no plan to increase the price.'

In addition, the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, attributed the recent scarcity to the non-renewal of contracts of some independent marketers to import the product and the illegal bunkering in many cities.

The Director of DPR, Mr. George Osahon, represented by the Zonal Controller, Abuja, Aliyu Halidu at the budget defence before the Senate Committee on Petroleum (Upstream), yesterday, claimed that non-payment of subsidy fund to the marketers by government had hindered the importation of the product, resulting in shortage in supply.

According to the DPR, the resurgence of fuel queues in filling stations across the country is as a result of the failure of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, to renew importation contract of independent oil marketers.

Halidu stated that even though there was fuel at depots, independent marketers were not willing to lift the product as they complained that they could not break-even with the current pump price of N97 per litre.

According him, the marketers had complained that the operational cost and other incidentals had seriously eaten into the pump price, making it difficult for them to break even at the current price, adding that the problem was that of supply of petroleum products and not that of availability of fuel.

Besides, he said that the shortage in supply of the Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, was equally affected by the increased activities of illegal bunkering in the country. He said that though 120 trucks were quite sufficient to meet the fuel needs of Nigerians per day, the supply had dropped to 60 trucks per day due to inability of independent marketers to import products.

He said: 'We have been importing fuel through contract; some of the contracts have not been renewed. It is only the major oil marketers that are selling. The independent marketers cannot buy from the depots because of the price.'