Oil marketers under the aegis of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) have said that there is confusion in the downstream sector of the oil industry as they don’t understand what is really happening, following the lingering fuel scarcity that has hit major cities across the country for some months.
This was made known on Friday by the Deputy National President of IPMAN, Zahra Mustapha while speaking during an interview on a Channels Television programme, Sunrise Daily.
This is coming at a time there are media reports that the Federal Government on Thursday directed the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) and IPMAN to adjust the pump price of petrol up to N185 per litre.
The volume of products lifted by oil marketers drops by 50%
On what is happening in the industry-leading to prolonged scarcity, Mustapha said the issue is complex, admitting that independent marketers do not also “really understand what is going on.
He said, “The fact of the matter is that we are in a very complex situation because the burden of subsidy that the government is carrying is no more sustainable and the volume that the NNPC for now, being the sole importer of the petroleum product, PMS, has been hit hard, because of that the supply that we receive as the marketers at the loading point is being reduced by over 50 per cent.
“It doesn’t seem that they (NNPC) are bringing in more, if they are, we will be getting the volume we usually get before. Since July/August last year, the volume we receive now is not up to 40 or 50 per cent of what we usually get.
“As of today with what is trending in the private depots, the volume we are getting is not enough. With the look of things in the private depots, I assume it is not enough, because if they have it they won’t hoard it.”
Confusion in the oil sector
On the recent price adjustment for petrol, the IPMAN deputy president said the regulatory body would be in the best position to answer the public and give details on why and how the price was adjusted to the new one.
He, however, explained, “The cost of bringing the products to the public is not going to be achievable at the former price. With all sense of justification, I believe the regulatory body agreed to raise it up to the new amount.
“The price was not done to only appease the marketers but to ensure that the supply chain is being sustained, because the marketers are also in business and you can’t lift a product, resell it and you’re not making any returns on it, I don’t think anybody will continue to do that.
“We’re in a very dicey situation. NNPC imports, and distributes to private depots and note that we independent marketers don’t have the depots. as I am talking to you today, I brought the product from a depot in Lagos at N247 per litre to be transported down to far North at the cost of N50 to N60 per litre. Not the fancy prices we are seeing.
“Even we ourselves as independent marketers, don’t understand what is really happening. We have raised our concerns to the regulatory bodies and have told them what we’re experiencing.
“We are supposed to get this product at N148 but we are buying at N22o and it keeps increasing. 240 in Lagos, 235 in Warri, 240 in Port Harcourt, and in Calabar it is as high as N250 per litre for marketers, and you buy and transport yourself to where your retail outlet is.
“There are a lot of confusions in the industry, which the government must come in and address these confusions so that the common man can get the product for the approved price. We cannot buy a product between 220 to 240 naira, transport it for about N50, which is already N300, and then expect the marketer to sell to the public for N200 or N190. It is not realisable.”