“So many of our members are bringing in product, which means they have accessed ‘Forex’. But the complaint is that the ‘Forex’ is not forth coming as it were,” National Secretary of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, Alhaji Hassan Kirmi said in an interview with Vanguard.
He said the marketers have been able to access forex to import much fuel that could serve local demand for at least another 10 days. He also stated that as at Tuesday May 3, four other vessels with about 85million litres of petrol were ready to be discharged at the various ports of the country.
The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) had slashed the petroleum import allocation to the government owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) from 78% in the first quarter to 41.73%. Some international oil companies, IOCs, in the upstream oil and gas sector had also agreed to provide foreign exchange to oil marketing companies for the importation of premium motor spirit.
Apart from the paucity of foreign exchange (forex), which was identified as one of the major reasons for the scarcity witnessed across the country, industry players had also warned against the 78% import allocation granted the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) which they say led to a disruption in the petroleum products distribution chain, leading to scarcity in parts of the country.
Kirmi who joined the federal government in calling on members of the body to shun sharp practices over prices said “There are enough products at almost all the tank farms in Lagos, Port-Harcourt and Warri. The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, (NNPC) had on Friday April 29, structured the distribution chain into six geo-political zones that distribute petrol across the country and they are very effective,” adding: Our members are importing through Warri, Port-Harcourt, Lagos and Calabar. There is so much product coming into the country, we have over 20 vessels on ground and refineries are producing”.
He however said that the “complaint is that the ‘Forex’ is not forth coming as it were”.
Kirmi disclosed that the IPMAN has presented “our case to the government on the issue with the landing cost. That is why they are contemplating bringing in subsidy”.
Nigerians had been under severe strain of acute fuel scarcity with the price of petrol jumping from the official pump-price of N86 in government owned NNPC and N86.50 in private fuel stations to well over N300 per litre.
The Federal government had fixed May deadline for the queues to disappear across the country. Checks by EnergyNewsTM revealed that the situation is abating with more filling stations now selling the product but at differential prices.