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‘Racketeering’ at depots worsens petrol scarcity

The scarcity of petrol in Lagos, Abuja, Kano, Kaduna and other parts of the country is taking a new dimension as marketers have alleged racketeering…

The scarcity of petrol in Lagos, Abuja, Kano, Kaduna and other parts of the country is taking a new dimension as marketers have alleged racketeering at the depots.

Besides, the price of the product has gone past N180 per litre, although not the official rate, but largely used by major petrol stations in Abuja, nearly a month ago.

A survey yesterday by Daily Trust across some states and Abuja revealed the tough situation Nigerians faced to get petrol, with attendant increase in transport fare and products’ price hike.

Lagos residents accuse stations of hoarding

In Lagos, more filling stations have shut down for lack of the product; while consumers are alleging hoarding. Few stations at other areas in the state were seen selling the product for between N250 and N300.

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Fuel crisis spreads in Abuja, Kano, Kaduna

In Abuja, more stations were shut, especially within the city centre; while some of those on the outskirts, sold for N250/l. Those who sold for N180 had allegedly adjusted their pumps, shortchanging buyers.

In Kano metropolis, most of the fuel stations have been shut for several weeks; while majority of the few ones still operating were charging between N245 and N265 per litre.

 “It’s not easy these days as our sufferings are multiplying. We go round the city just to get fuel, but the lowest price you can get is N245 and you have to spend hours on the queue,” a motorist said.

In Kaduna, most stations sold the product for N260 yesterday. At the city centre, only an MRS station sold, though with a queue just as black market sales thrived. It was also observed that some stations adjusted their pumps

Mr Alabi, a Kaduna resident, said, “Along the bypass, my fuel was just below a quarter tank. So I decided to buy 20 litres. To my surprise, after buying 20 litres for N5,200, the fuel gauge only moved to a quarter tank which should have moved to at least half tank.”      

Another resident, Larai Ibrahim, said touts were involved in racketeering. 

IPMAN, others worry over low NNPC supply

Marketers are worried over the situation, asking the government, especially the NNPC Ltd and the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) to address the situation.

President, Independent Petroleum Marketers’ Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Alhaji Debo, Ahmed, said his members could not get enough products at the depots.

He said, “For now, the product is not available, that’s why you’re seeing all these queues.” He said no marketer could afford to sell at the official price. 

Depot deny hoarding, blame oil theft 

Executive Secretary, Major Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), Clement Isong, insisted his members are pushing out products they receive from NNPC.

Reacting, Chairman, Northern Independent Petroleum Marketer Forum (NIPMF), Musa Yahaya Maikifi, blamed the scarcity of the product on the forex crisis which, he said, forced his members to buy the product from the depot at N200.

7-day petrol stock at depots as NNPC ships more

Although there was no official response from the NNPC Ltd and the NMDPRA officials yesterday, the latest petrol stock data of NMDPRA, which has not been updated since Thursday, showed that the NNPC had 2.51 billion litres of petrol that could last for 33 days at an average of 60 million litres of petrol consumption daily.

Analysis of the data confirmed some marketers’ claim that that NNPC had gone low on supply. This is according to the breakdown of the location of the 2.51bn litres of petrol as of Thursday.

While the product on the sea (perhaps being shipped to Nigeria) described as ‘marine days sufficiency’ is 1.990bn litres and could last for 25.74 days, the petrol stock on land and across depots (land-based days sufficiency) is 60.1bn litres which could only last for 7.43 days.

From Simon E. Sunday (Abuja), Abdullateef Aliyu, Eugene Agha, Jide Olasunkanmi (Lagos), Zahraddeen Y. Shuaibu (Kano) & Maryam Ahmadu-Suka (Kaduna)  

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