By Ese Awhotu with agency report
The Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association, DAPPMA, yesterday said despite Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) claims, their depots are empty.
The association expressed concern over the inability of NNPC to send petrol to its members’ depots.
DAPPMA’s Executive Secretary, Olufemi Adewole, in a statement in Lagos, urged NNPC to help the association so as to alleviate the suffering of Nigerians.
“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,’’ he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN reports that the DAPPMA official claimed that their members pay PPMC/NNPC in advance for petroleum products.
He said 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 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.
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.
“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,’’ he said.
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.
Meanwhile, a combined team of the NNPC, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and security agents on Sunday uncovered illegal reservoirs of fuel in Abuja.
Speaking at the site of the mini depot, the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Maikanti Baru, said it was saddening to make such discoveries in the city centre when less than 500 meters away, motorists were on endless queues.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that hundreds of jerry cans, 200-liter drums, and 500 liter tanks were uncovered in a sting operation by the team in the city centre.
According to him, the perpetrators have caused untold pain and hardship on Nigerians during a crucial season as Christmas.