Yesterday(15th October, 2023), there were signs that gasoline shortages had returned to Lagos and surrounding areas, as many gasoline sellers closed their outlets to motorists and other buyers.
Shortages were recorded in and around Abuja last week, with oil development experts blaming poor roads and high diesel distribution costs.
But checks carried out by FrontViewAfrica over the weekend showed that many major and independent oil marketers were not open for business, leaving only NNPC Limited to look after customers in most areas visited in Lagos .
It was found that NNPC Limited was accommodated as it remained the sole importer of the product.
Despite deregulation, other operators are still unable to import petrol due to market instability and lack of foreign exchange, currently at over N1,000/dollar in the informal market. The Chairman of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, Chinedu Okoronkwo, said steps were being taken to rectify the situation.
In his words, “Stakeholders have come together and steps have been taken to allow oil traders to access foreign exchange at rates that do not affect the current price of the commodity.”
However, a check by FrontViewAfrica in Abuja revealed that most major traders increased their pump prices from N615 per liter to N625 per litre.
Similarly, the Public Relations Officer of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, Chief Chinedu Ukadike, said;
“The problem we are facing is that most private warehouses are out of stock due to imports from NNPCL. Since NNPC is the sole importer, the private warehouses from which independent companies buy their products are also dependent on NNPC for supplies. This arrangement also encourages profits.
“We have had a lot of difficulty in selecting products from NNPC in the last five days and that is why you see bone shortage. It’s still not a big deal. The important point here is that despite deregulation, NNPC remains the sole importer of PMS and no other depot imports it.
“Some portals owned by NNPC have closed down and no longer license marketers on some of their portals. This clearly shows that there is a gap in the supply chain. But I was reassured by the CEO of NNPC that they are expecting the product and will supply it to us soon.
“I would like to state that the price of NNPC has not changed and they are still selling at the ex-depot price of N577.6/litre,” he added.
Furthermore, the Chairman of the Nigerian Petroleum and Natural Gas Suppliers Association, NOGASA, Mr. Benneth Korie, warned that the country’s downstream is under severe pressure due to station closures due to operating conditions. hard.
Korie points out that, “warehouse owners were hit so hard by the increase in crude oil prices and exchange rates that many deposits were almost abandoned because their owners could not borrow from banks to finance them.” for its activities due to high interest rates.