HomeRelationship & GoalsA verbal battle between NNPC and merchants over fuel scarcity

A verbal battle between NNPC and merchants over fuel scarcity

The Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation has attributed the country’s ongoing NNPC and merchants over fuel scarcity shortages to panic purchases and shrewd tactics by certain petroleum marketers who are taking advantage of the current circumstances to increase their profits.

The corporation said it had enough fuel in its possession to put an end to the shortage and promised that the nationwide fuel lines will clear the following week.

Petroleum merchants, on the other hand, rejected the NNPC’s stance, stating that insufficient supply was a primary cause of the ongoing fuel shortage.

Remember how NNPC spokesperson Femi Soneye promised on Tuesday that the continuous scarcity of petroleum products and the lines to purchase them would be finished by May 1.
He said the corporation had enough petroleum supplies on hand to last at least thirty days, with over 1.5 billion liters. He continued by saying that some people might be taking advantage of the circumstances to increase their profits.

Read Also: According To NNPCL, Fuel Lines In Nigeria Would Be

In a statement, the Major Energies Marketers Association of Nigeria claimed that eight vessels had delivered 300 million liters of petroleum to its members this week in Apapa and other parts of Lagos.

This came after Ayo Cardoso, the South-West Regional Coordinator of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, confirmed to The PUNCH that, in addition to the 240 million liters of gasoline that were offloaded at various depots on Monday, as of Tuesday evening, nearly 85 million liters of gasoline had been offloaded.
Cardoso declared claimed the government was making every effort to guarantee the widespread distribution of PMS and that the product would soon be accessible nationwide.

He said that all of the federation’s states have their allotted amounts and that these would be distributed to shorten lines at gas stations.

As I already stated, there would soon be adequate fuel throughout Nigeria. As of Tuesday, we had received more than 300 million liters. I’m not sure how many, but we’re receiving more as we spoke. Ships will continue to arrive in Nigeria for a period of fifteen days, beginning on Monday, during which we will continue to distribute the product around the country.

‘The general public shouldn’t panic; these will all shortly disappear. Nowhere is being given priority; each state has Cardoso said, “its allocation to be delivered accordingly.’

The lack of petroleum supplies and long lines that most Nigerians had to endure in recent days made their living conditions worse as they tried to obtain the stuff.

Roads were empty and several people stopped their cars at different gas stations till there was petrol available.

As more people took advantage of the circumstances, product hoarding had also increased.
The House of Representatives’ Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream and Midstream) expressed concern and requested that security services apprehend those who hoard PMS.

Olufemi Soneye, a NNPC spokeswoman, told Saturday PUNCH that the company currently has roughly three billion liters of gasoline. He blamed panic purchasing and oil marketers for the remaining lines.

‘The lines are getting shorter. They won’t just clear that way because some are trying to stockpile and others are purchasing unnecessary items. We think there is enough merchandise on the market and you shouldn’t buy anything you don’t need for this reason.

Additionally, as marketers wish to take advantage of this to increase their revenue, you cannot ignore them in this. These are the difficulties, which is why the NMDPRA has been involved; it is their responsibility to make sure these filling stations are acting appropriately.

‘It is our responsibility to supply the product, and as we have informed you, we have more than 1.5 billion liters accessible. Thus, the distribution is a matter for the NMDPRA to take action on. It’s not our responsibility. Since we are not the regulator, we lack the authority to penalize filling stations that violate regulations.

Soneye asserted that distribution by marketers was now the issue, citing an increase in the amount of gasoline produced by the NNPC in Nigeria.

Stop attributing shortage to us, marketers at NNPC

However, marketers operating under the banner of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria have instructed the NNPC not to hold them accountable for the lines at gas stations, claiming they have nothing to do with shady activities.

Hammed Fashola, the National Vice President of IPMAN, questioned how the NNPC could assign responsibility to marketers when they weren’t the ones importing gasoline.

Marketers, according to Fashola, could only stockpile an available product, remembering how IPMAN had helped to reduce lines at gas stations.
That is not at all accurate. All you can do is redirect the product you already own. What you lack, you do not divert.

‘We have a regime of partial deregulation on the pricing front. As you may have observed, our prices varied widely even before to this crisis. That is yet another thing that is intolerable.

You cannot hoard something you do not possess, in regards to the hoarding issue. Even if you have gasoline during this crucial time, saying you wish to stockpile it defies logic. Thus, that is also untrue, he declared.

When questioned if the marketers were now receiving the product from NNPC, the head of IPMAN declared, ‘Let me take this chance to praise the NNPC, even though they want to hold us accountable. They seem to be making every effort to stabilize the situation, in my opinion.
Independent marketers, according to Fashola, did not partake in dishonest behavior.

‘To ensure that our players follow the guidelines, we have already established a task group within the IPMAN. We operate as a very disciplined company. We don’t engage in or support any harsh behaviors.

Recall that they informed us last week that there was a logistical issue, and we are aware of what that implies. Why then do people attribute the shortage to marketers? We do not control the cargo or act as the importer; instead, we aren’t the ones that handle their clearinghouse. Not even our own depot is ours. How then can they hold us accountable for that? He inquired.

In response to the NNPC’s accusations, Chinedu Ukadike, the National Public Relations Officer of IPMAN, refuted assertions that the ongoing fuel shortage was the fault of the oil marketers.

In a phone interview on Friday night, Ukadike said that marketers built their companies primarily on profit and returns on investment and would not invent artificial scarcity. He also added that the high capital requirements and bank fees prevented hoarding of petroleum products.

‘We are the last in the supply chain’s distribution chain,’ he declared. We open the NNPC box, and while I speak with you, IPMAN has more than 20,000 fueling stations dispersed throughout this nation’s intricacies. Our companies were founded with the intention of making the most money possible and seeing a return on investment.

‘At all, there is no sharp practice. Because we value turnover, independent marketers promote whenever there is a shortage of petroleum goods. They even go so far as to wipe cars’ tires and windscreens and give our pump attendants instructions to sell petroleum products. The amount of money we spend on goods—roughly N40 million—is too large for anyone to hoard. We even have to pay bank fees.We are unable to stockpile goods. We sell them as soon as possible as we receive them.

He went on, ‘We’re ready.’ to sell for a 24-hour period if we receive both financial support and security. I can confirm that we don’t engage in any sharp practices as an official. We will sell to customers as soon as petroleum reaches us as we interact with them and understand how they feel when a product is in short supply.

The official also urged security services to keep an eye out for street kids who are taking advantage of the shortage.

I won’t also claim that there aren’t individuals, such street kids, who take advantage of the circumstances to participate in unscrupulous behavior, using their cars to purchase petroleum products and then distributing them to jerry cans in order to make money. We are cognizant of those matters, and the president of the country IPMAN has recommended that in order to remove everyone gathered in front of their filling stations, marketers should work with security services.

Speaking to Saturday PUNCH as well, Clement Isong, the Executive Secretary of the Major Energies Marketers Association of Nigeria, stated that while the oil industry does engage in some unscrupulous tactics, it should not be held primarily responsible for the nation’s fuel shortage.

‘There are numerous reasons,’ he stated. While I’m sure there are some shrewd techniques in place, it would be oversimplified to attribute the scarcity to them. Thus, I don’t think they (NNPCL) will make such claim.

‘I don’t think they stated that. There might occasionally be some shrewd practices, I have no doubt about that. however, I don’t think the NNPCL would say that.
He explained, ‘I have said it is logistic challenges,’ as the reason for the shortage. Although there are numerous additional issues, logistic constraints can be the direct cause.

He stated that the government ought to ‘flood the markets with the products’ in order to address the current gasoline shortage.

‘You can call or hold NNPC accountable if you wake up and they tell you that there is no product in Nigeria.’ However, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority is currently in charge of maintaining the supply, and they have not stated that we are out of merchandise. Nigerians ought to hold us accountable when there is no merchandise. However, the product is overproduced.

‘We’ve added more vessels, so the 1.5 billion liters we stated around four days ago has increased, and we will now have nearly three billion liters accessible. Thus, the NMDPRA ought to investigate distribution.

‘Sanctions by the regulator against certain stations will force others to take responsibility and act appropriately. However, Soneye said, ‘NNPC does not have the authority to discipline any station.

NNPC and merchants over fuel
Abasiama Peter
Abasiama Peterhttps://viztadaily.com
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