Oil marketers, on Wednesday, said the supply of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, had not yet stabilise and this was why queues were still prevalent in many parts of Nigeria, aside Abuja where it had reduced.
Reacting to the statement of the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, Mele Kyari, that fuel queues would clear in one week, the marketers expressed optimism, but insisted that it would be tough to enforce the N195/litre government-approved price on all filling stations.
This came as the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria revealed on Wednesday that NNPC had promised IPMAN that it had set aside about 140 million litres of PMS for members of the association in a bid to address their fuel supply challenges.
Commenting on the remarks made by Kyari as regards clearing fuel queues, the Secretary, IPMAN Abuja-Suleja, Mohammed Shuaibu, “We cannot just conclude now that the problem is over, but I know that we have to give it a week or there about, to see how the situation will be, before concluding.
“The NNPC boss is an authority and we are not going to dispute that, but we hope so, because it is our prayer that all these problems are resolved. I am not going to dispute his position, but as I speak with you, our members across the country are still not getting the product the way they should.
“And there are those who bought products at higher rates. Government is now telling them to sell at the government approved rate and that there will be enforcement, which, of course, is going to be difficult to implement. It is a challenge as far as we are concerned.”
Explaining why the queues in Abuja were subsiding, which was not the case in other states, Shuaibu said this was because the seat of government was in Abuja, adding that the government gave a marching order on PMS supply to the capital city.
“It is an embarrassment to the government for the queues to continue in Abuja. So it gave marching orders to douse the tension in Abuja. But most people are going to ask about why we still have queues and lack of products in Lagos, contrary to what we see in Abuja,” he stated.
The IPMAN official added, “However, I’ll say that I believe that this naira scarcity could also be a factor, because people hardly get money to go to the market and people are really going through hell right now.
“The cash crunch is affecting both the oil marketer and the customers of our products. There is no cash, you can’t travel to perfect some transactions, even the Internet services are not functioning as expected. You encounter difficulties when trying to make transfers.”
This came as the National President, IPMAN, Debo Ahmed, announced in a notice to his members that following a meeting held on February 7, 2023, between the National Executive Council of the association and the Managing Director of NNPC Retail Limited, the national oil firm promised to set aside 140 million litres of PMS for independent marketers.
The notice read in part, “NRL (NNPC Retail Limited) assured IPMAN that the over 4,000 tickets we paid for shall be loaded as soon as possible. That about 140 million litres of PMS have been set aside for our immediate load out.
“The MD, NRL apologised for their systems’ inability to accommodate differential payments as they were not configured to do so causing them to resort to a manual method which led to about 10 -12days delay in products evacuation.
“All marketers that paid through the old PPMC portals and are unable to access their payments or having their payments on dynamic mode, should submit all their details to their respective unit chairmen for onward transmission to the national secretariat of IPMAN for compilation and further action.”
Ahmed said the NRL had entered into a lot of through-put agreements with Private Depot Owners aimed at ameliorating the suffering of members in loading their products.
He said serious efforts were ongoing to transfer some PMS to Port Harcourt Refinery Depot in the nearest possible time if assurances of minimal losses were obtained by all stakeholders.
“A lot of PDOs have been engaged to solely load out IPMAN products already paid for. A guide will soon be worked out on how marketers can seamlessly navigate the NRL customers portal for new registration and update of their information like additional outlet(s),” the IPMAN president stated.
He added, “Marketers are expected to upload a valid NMDPRA permit or proof of payment of a permit on the portal when a provision is made for that by the end of this month to be able to access the portal afterwards.
“Marketers are enjoined to shun diversion, sell their products at government approved bands and avoid tarmac sale of tickets as defaulters will face the full wrath of the law.”
He urged marketers to kindly direct their depot reps at various loading depots to conclude all the processes of programming their tickets for loading within the 21 days window.
Ahmed said any staff(s) of NRL asking for any favour in whatever way(s) before attending to any marketers’ rep or batching their products should report immediately to their respective IPMAN unit chairmen who would relay to the national secretary or president for immediate action.
“All recognised IPMAN unit chairmen at our loading depots are empowered to ensure seamless batching and loading of marketers’ tickets.
“Finally, take this little available grace to dispose your old stock and do not buy another stock if you cannot sell at govt approved prices,” he stated.