The National President of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Aminu Abdulkardir yesterday said that the current fuel scarcity in the country was as a result of accumulated fuel subsidy claims owed marketers in the past nine months.
He however directed all members of the association to ensure safe reception of the petroleum products supplied to the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and delivery to the various filling stations.
The IPMAN boss who spoke at the expanded meeting of the association said, “the current contraction in the supply of the products is a result of none payment of marketers subsidy”.
“The non-payment is partly, quarterly, Quarter 4 completely not paid and we are quarter 1. Our national consumption today is been supplied by the NNPC. And it is only that 50% of NNPC product that is in circulation.
“They have stepped up their supply trying to what every stakeholder is supposed to be doing, but it is evidently clear that they alone cannot do it.
“I therefore use this medium, to appeal to the ministry of Finance as a matter of urgency, to intervene and pay marketers accordingly, so that the argumentation of this shortfall can be achieved in a short
while so that this scarcity will be a thing of the past”, he stated.
“We are been owe Q3 subsidy payment, which is last year, another Q4 and Q1 pilling up to about 9 months unpaid subsidy to marketers. We need to be paid this money because we are in business.
Aminu disclosed that his men are now moving products from coastal areas to the hinterland through roads even as he admitted that congestion at the terminals in Lags is slowing down products
evacuation to the northern and eastern parts f the country.
“I can assure Nigerians that product availability has improved.
Initial delay in vessels clearance at the port has been resolved. Our challenge now is gaining access to the terminals. You know is normally busy and when you add the rush by us to reach the terminals and load product, you can imagine the gridlock.
The major challenge in the exercise, Aminu said is the wide supply gap that has been created as a result of the chain of processes at the tank farms.
Commenting on the allegations of products diversion by marketers, the IPMAN president noted that, “the diversion is not illegal as he however explained that the products are never been diverted to another country but still being sold to Nigerians within Nigeria”.
He said stakeholders are putting heads together to ensure that the vehicular gridlock does not stall product evacuation, assuring Nigerians that “neither government nor marketers are withholding all Nigerians. I urge Nigerians to exercise patient.
“Nobody is withholding products and I urge Nigerians to be patent as we move products to the hinterland .If all stakeholders cooperated, the situation will ease before the week runs out. We should be careful when we leveled accusations. What Nigerians need to know is that pipeline vandalism is worsening the situation.
“Under normal circumstances, eighty percent of the products are supposed to be transported through pipelines. The rest are supposed to be moved through trucks. Widespread pipeline vandalism halted that plan, hence the resort to land haulage of the products”, the IPMAN president said.