Major oil marketers under the aegis of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) has attributed the current fuel scarcity and long queues at filling station being witnessed across the country to the exceptionally high demand for the product and distribution challenges.
The association also said that the high logistics and exchange rate costs have put pressure on the pump price of fuel.
This disclosure is contained in a statement issued by MOMAN, where they sympathized with Nigerians and customers over the challenges being faced in the purchase of petrol at filling stations across the country.
Bottlenecks in the distribution chain
MOMAN said, “These queues are caused by exceptionally high demand and bottlenecks in the distribution chain. The major cause is the shortage and high (US dollar) costs of daughter’s vessels for ferrying products from mother vessels to depots along the coast.
“Next is an inadequate number of trucks to meet the demand to deliver product from depots to filling stations nationwide. These high logistics and exchange rate costs continue to put pressure on prices at the pumps.
“Over the past three months, staff and management of MOMAN companies have worked diligently at depots and filling stations to relieve the stress faced by customers through the Christmas and New year period.”
MOMAN to extend loading hours at depots
The association added, “Our members have again agreed to extend depot loading hours as well as keep strategically situated service stations open for long hours to ease access to fuel for our customers.”
MOMAN said it shall continue to use its best endeavours to ensure that the product was sold at pump prices currently approved by the regulatory authorities, despite pressure on the price by demand and costs in their immediate operating environment.
It stated, “A final resolution to these challenges will be the full deregulation of the petroleum downstream sector to encourage the liberalization of supply and long-term investment distribution assets. We urge the government to work towards this end goal.’’
For the record
Recall that the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) had earlier 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 as some media reports had suggested that the Federal Government directed MOMAN and IPMAN to adjust the pump price of petrol up to N185 per litre, a claim the government had denied.
IPMAN had said that the volume of products lifted by oil marketers had dropped by 50% with the independent marketers saying that they do not also really understand what is going on.