Nigerians want heads to roll
An oil and gas merchant, Capt. Emmanuel Iheanacho, has attributed the persistent scarcity of petrol to monopoly of the product by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
Iheanacho, who is also the Chairman, Integrated Oil and Gas Limited, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos yesterday that inability of NNPC to create a window for private importers to import petrol also contributed to the scarcity.
According to him, the current shortage in fuel importation gap was caused by the landing cost margin of N171 per litre and the selling cost pegged at N 145 per litre.
Iheanacho said this was not realistic for marketers to import and sell at that rate.
“The selling of the product at N145 per litre is no longer feasible with the current exchange rate.
“Shortage of foreign exchange and increase in crude oil prices have made it unprofitable to import petrol and sell same at N145 per litre.
“The problem is that importation of petrol is being handled, almost 100 per cent by NNPC, while private importers backed out because the increase in crude oil price has made the landing cost high,’’ he said.
Iheanacho said the marketers’ huge debts of over N800 billion had also contributed to the inability of marketers to import petrol.
He said most independent marketers had closed their companies due to inability to pay their workers.
Iheanacho urged the federal government to settle all the outstanding debts owed marketers since 2015.
According to him, commercial banks have started taken over the property and tank farms of some companies that could not pay back their loans.
NAN reported that loading of petrol had commenced in Apapa.
A visit to Apapa yesterday showed that hundreds of trucks were on queue waiting to load the product at Total, Forte Oil, Oando Plc, MRS, NIPCO and other private depots.
In areas like Ikorodu, Epe, Ibeju-Lekki, Oshodi, Ajegunle, Ikotun, Bariga and Sango-Ota, some stations were still selling petrol for between N180 and N200 per litre.
In Ikorodu area, many filling stations were selling at N200 per litre, while only few were selling at the official price.
Commercial bus operators increased their fares by more than 100 per cent, claiming that they bought petrol above the official price of N145 per litre.
Transport fare from Ikorodu Garage to CMS has increased from N300 to N350 before the scarcity to N1000.
Also, from Epe to Ketu, passengers were being charged N1, 500 against N700 they were charging before scarcity, while the fare from Ketu to Costain was between N300 and N500.
Meanwhile, Nigerian have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to deal decisively with those responsible for the current scarcity of petrol.
Some who took to their twitter handles prayed the president to punish those who by their actions or inaction, caused the ongoing scarcity.
Replying to a Christmas Day message from President Muhammadu Buhari on his twitter handle @MBuhari, some of them particularly called on the president to sack any of his appointees responsible for the ongoing hardship.
President Buhari on Christmas Day wrote on his handle: “I wish all Nigerians Happy Christmas celebrations.
“As I noted yesterday, the fuel scarcity that has caused many of you to spend this period on fuel queues is deeply regretted.All relevant agencies of Government are working round-the-clock to bring relief to you.”
But his message was greeted with negative replies, some calling for his resignation as Petroleum Minister and others urging him to reshuffle his cabinet and take on more productive ministers.
They urged President Buhari to quickly do something to redeem his government and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in line with all its campaign promises.
A twitter user, Victor Lawal, with handle @Vlawal, said the president should stop apologising for the long queue ocassioned by petrol scarcity and sack non-performing appointees.
“Oga, please stop giving excuse. Who have you fired? The #FuelScarcity is primarily a failure of your government and until heads roll, I have stopped taking you serious. No difference between you and previous governments.
For Charles Ameh, with twitter handle @engrameh, he believed that the only solution to the problem of scarcity of petrol was for there to be consequences for failures.
She wrote: “How can the country move forward when there is never consequence for failure and ineptitude? How many Ministers have really delivered in their role?
“Under your government, the consequence for failure is to keep the job and keep failing. This is shameful.
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