Petrol Scarcity Hits Lagos as Marketers Close Outlets - The Top Society

Petrol Scarcity Hits Lagos as Marketers Close Outlets

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Reports emerging indicate a resurgence of petrol scarcity in Lagos and its neighboring areas, with a number of oil marketers ceasing operations, leaving consumers in a lurch.

Last week, a similar situation was observed in Abuja, which industry insiders attributed to challenges such as poor road infrastructure and the high cost of diesel for distribution.

Abuja Grapples with Severe Petrol Scarcity

Recent observations over the weekend revealed that numerous independent and major oil marketers were not operational, leaving the burden of attending to customers solely on the NNPC Limited in most areas of Lagos.

Notably, the NNPC Limited is currently the sole importer of the product, ensuring some supply amidst the scarcity.

Despite the supposed deregulation, other operators have been hampered by market uncertainty and the scarcity of foreign exchange, with informal market rates exceeding N1,000 per dollar. This has significantly impeded the ability of these entities to import petrol.

President of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Chinedu Okoronkwo, has stated that steps are being taken to resolve the situation.

He said:

“Stakeholders have been meeting and measures have been taken to enable oil marketers to access foreign exchange at a rate that will not disturb the current price of the product.”

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However, in a related development, it has been observed that numerous major marketers in Abuja have raised their pump prices from N615 per liter to N625 per litre.

Likewise, the spokesperson for the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Chief Chinedu Ukadike, had stated:

“The issue we have is that most of the private depots have gone out of stock because they get supply from NNPCL. Since NNPC is the sole importer, these private depots that independents buy products from also depend on the NNPC for their supplies. This arrangement is also encouraging profiteering.

“We have been finding it very difficult to pick products from NNPC in the past five days and that is why you are seeing the skeletal scarcity. It is not major yet. The important point here is that despite the deregulation, NNPC is still the sole importer of PMS and no other depot is importing.

“Some of the portals owned by NNPC have shut down and are no longer issuing authority to lift to marketers in some of their portals. This significantly shows that there is a gap in the chain of supply. But I was reassured by the MD of NNPC that they are expecting products and they will feed us very soon.

“I want to state that NNPC prices have not changed and they are still selling at N577.6/litre as ex-depot price”, he added

Furthermore, Mr. Benneth Korie, the President of the Natural Oil and Gas Suppliers Association of Nigeria (NOGASA), cautioned that the downstream sector in the nation was facing significant strain, leading to the closure of stations owing to challenging operational circumstances.

Korie pointed out that

“depot owners are so terribly affected by the increasing cost of the crude and exchange rate to the extent that many depots are practically deserted as their owners are unable to secure bank loans to fund their business due to high-interest rates.”

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