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IPMAN alerts on looming fuel scarcity

By Adewale Sanyaolu
THE Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has said the 78 percent import allocation granted the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)has led to a disruption in the petroleum products distribution chain,leading to scarcity within the Lagos metropolis
With this development, IPMAN has called on the Corporation to step up import of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also known as petrol to avert another round of scarcity.
National Operations Controller of IPMAN, Mr. Mike Osatuyi, said that the fuel situation has been fragile since the NNPC assumed the role of the sole importer of petrol.
“There is supply gap over a period of time now, the NNPC imports 78 percent of the petrol needs of the country. I can only say you should tell them to improve on imports.
They have access to forex because they do the SWAP deal and therefore, are not constrained by the challenge. But for marketers, it is difficult to source the Dollar and therefore not profitable to import under present condition”, he said.
But, NNPC has said the hitch in the petroleum distribution chain in Lagos was as a result of the leadership tussle between the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) union and the national leadership of PTD.
The Corporation in a statement by its Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs, Mr. Ohi Alegbe,said that, the management of its midstream subsidiary, the Pipeline and Products Marketing Company (PPMC) has intervened in the dispute and that normalcy will soon be restored.
NNPC, however, assured that there was sufficient stock of products in Lagos and across the country and advised motorists not to resort to panic buying as the situation was under control.
The state oil firm reiterated its commitment to uninterrupted product supply to the general public in keeping with its mandate.
On whether marketers have products, Osatuyi said, “if we have, we will sell. If you observe any scarcity now it means supply has really gone down. But let us watch the situation till weekend and then we will know how to react to it, but NNPC should take up the responsibility to beef supply,” he said
Meanwhile, findings across some filling stations within the Lagos metropolis revealed that motorists are experiencing difficulty having access to petrol.
For instance, Mobil filling station at Maryland as at yesterday, was not dispensing with the gates barricaded.
Adjacent Mobil is Oando which was now dealing with large number of motorists struggling to buy the product.
The queue was also much visible at Total outlet by Sheraton Hotel Ikeja.
At MRS, Ikeja attendants sold product in the morning but later shut down in the day.
Attendants at some of the stations could not offer any credible explanation as to the reason for the shut down.