NNPC yet to withdraw dirty fuel as petrol queues linger
…Black market soars to N400/litre in Abuja, N200 in Lagos
Petroleum marketers, yesterday, said the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Limited is yet to evacuate adulterated petroleum from fuel stations as motorists jostle to purchase premium motor spirit. It is feared the situation may take a bad turn if it lingers.
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), whose members retail over 90 per cent of the products used in the country, told The Guardian that petrol marketers are running at a loss, while consultants are working to determine the volume of the dirty fuels still in tanks.
For filling stations dispensing products, there are deliberate attempts to frustrate consumers by creating artificial scarcity through long queues and, in many cases, products are only sold in the evening, creating brisk business for the black market.
Already, in many parts of Lagos, the product is being dispensed at N200 a litre and N400 in Abuja. Vice President of IPMAN, Abubakar Shettima, told The Guardian yesterday that most tankers have now diverted to Nipco depot to load the right speculation of premium products, adding that the current scarcity would abate before mid-week.
NNPC Limited had admitted that four PMS cargoes imported by four consortia of its direct sale, direct purchase (DSDP) had imported adulterated fuel into the country, leading to petrol scarcity across the country. The importers are MRS, who imported through vessel MT Bow Pioneer and loaded at Litasco Terminal, Antwerp -Belgium, Emadeb/Hyde/AY Maikifi/Brittania-U Consortium, which used vessel MT Tom Hilde and loaded from the same terminal, Oando loaded through MT Elka Apollon from the same terminal as well as NNPC’s subsidiary, Duke Oil used MT Nord Gainer and also loaded the vessel from the same terminal.
Shettima noted that the marketers, who have dirty fuel in their tanks, are stuck because the products have not been removed for them to run their operations.
According to him, the government may need to consider bearing the burden of their losses.
“There are slight challenges already. We are expecting more products by Tuesday. There was a gap in supply so it will take time for supply to normalise. The products have to be delivered via road and you know the associated challenges.
“Our consultants are working on the dirty fuel. The products have not been returned to NNPC. We need to know the quantity.”
Although more petrol stations opened late yesterday in Abuja, the development led to long queues as motorists struggled to make a purchase.
On the busy Kubwa expressway, Nipco, which was shut in the early hours of the day was dispensing at about 5pm. Mega stations like A.A. Rano and A.Y. Shafa and NNPC were also dispensing, while others like Shema, MRS, Oando were shut.
On the airport road, most stations were shut but Dan Oil, one of the mega stations on the route, was dispensing with a long queue of motorists.
At the black market, a litre, which was selling for about N250 per litre, has now moved to N400 per litre as a-10 litre gallon now sells for N4,000.