The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has said that scarcity of fuel would persist unless government breaks the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)’s monopoly of importation and distribution of petroleum products.
Western Zonal Chairman of IPMAN, Debo Ahmed, stated this yesterday at a press conference in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, adding that breaking NNPC’s monopoly remained the most urgent step to end the scarcity.
Ahmed said: “The fuel scarcity will persist for sometime because the NNPC, as sole importer, distributor and retailer, has no capacity to meet the country’s demand for petrol. That is a very dangerous monopoly that could destroy the economy.”
He noted that the quantity of the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) being imported into the country is haphazardly distributed to the disadvantage of IPMAN, which is said to have 80 per cent share of the market.
He also pointed out that NNPC’s retail mega stations, which have 3.5 per cent share of the market, were allocated 50 per cent of available products in all the functioning depots across the country.
“IPMAN with 80 per cent share of the market is allocated 30 per cent share of the products in all functioning government depots in the country.
“With this distribution pattern, the NNPC and the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) are strangulating IPMAN because the gates to a lot of our marketers stations are locked up.
“Most of the imported petrol are given to depot owners under the PFI system to sell to independent marketers at a controlled price of N133. 28 but private depot owners will sell at N160 or N162, which is above the regulated price.
“Again, most of our marketers have been rendered useless, while many others have laid off their staff. Many others now have problems with their bankers.”