Private operators, whose depots are being used for throughput arrangement (storage for a fee) by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, have said they do not have enough fuel stock and, therefore, cannot indulge in hoarding.
Some of the depot operators, who spoke in confidence with Vanguard, alleged that Pipelines and Products Marketing Company, PPMC, the marketing arm of NNPC, had not given them enough stock, especially of premium motor spirit, PMS, also called petrol.
According to one of the depot managers, who spoke in confidence, “we do not have PMS stock; in the past, we normally load between 150 and 200 of PMS trucks daily, but today (yesterday), we did only 20. So where is the product?
“Even DPR (Department of Petroleum Resources) officials came to our depot today (yesterday) and some other depots, including Capital Oil, Folawiyo, MRS among others, to confirm if we had stock of PMS and they discovered we don’t.”
Confirming the development, a competent management source at DPR said: “It is true; some of the depots had little or no stock of PMS when we visited them,” adding that NNPC/PPMC needs to increase stock allocations to these depots to ease the scarcity situation.
However, there were no comments from either NNPC or PPMC on this development, although the Corporation and its marketing arm had said they were engaged in a one cargo per day programme, which will be distributed among the depots to ease the lingering fuel shortages.
Forex The depots’ outcry is coming on the heels of foreign exchange demand of about $250 million or N49.75 billion monthly, by the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, to enable them to import refined petroleum products.
IPMAN’s National Operation Controller, Mr. Mike Osatuyi, in an interview with Vanguard, said it will enable marketers import about 32 cargoes monthly.
Osatuyi spoke in the light of Federal Government’s plan to engage the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to make FOREX available to marketers to import petrol.
He said: “That is what we have been clamouring for, but the government did not listen.
The government cannot do it alone. “Thank God, they have seen reasons.
We have said it time without number that nobody has a monopoly of wisdom.
It is a right step in the right direction. “Though it is not new, the government is only restoring what has been cancelled.” Osatuyi said the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, should be commended for taking the bold step to let marketers have access to FOREX.