By Emmanuella Anokam
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) said that the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd) approach of direct allocation of Premium Motor Spirit to IPMAN was a jinx breaker that led to product availability.
The IPMAN said decentralisation and direct distribution of product to the independent marketers and monitoring would solve the fuel scarcity permanently if sustained.
IPMAN President, Elder Chinedu Okoronkwo, said this on Thursday in Abuja while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
Okoronkwo, while reacting to the sudden disappearance of queues at the filling stations in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) after prolonged fuel scarcity, expressed hope that it would be sustained to avoid recurrence.
The Department of State Services (DSS) had on Dec. 8, at a meeting with oil industry stakeholders, issued 48 hours ultimatum for stakeholders to resolve ongoing fuel scarcity and warned that it would launch a nationwide operation on saboteurs if queues persisted at filling stations.
The DSS waded into the fuel matter following persistent scarcity and long queues, especially in the FCT and environs, in spite of assurances by the NNPC Ltd. and other regulatory agencies of ensuring normalcy.
Okoronkwo said during the DSS and stakeholders’ meeting, they thanked the NNPC for PMS supply but appealed that it should be well distributed and directly to the independent marketers and avoid concentrating on Lagos market only.
IPMAN boss said the DSS statement also triggered the Tank Farm Owners who, prior to the development, the product was only being allocated to and had been stocking without selling at the approved government rate.
“They have seen that keeping this product and NNPC Ltd. releasing the product to owners of filling stations like IPMAN, they might run into bigger risk.
“Prior to this time, the tank farm owners kept this product and began to put prices. The NNPC now distributes directly to IPMAN and others without passing through the former depot owners.
“That is to say Independent marketers will be getting their products directly from NNPC.
“Now Calabar-Ogara-Port Harcourt have been mandated with oil to serve so that when there is problem in Lagos, it will not affect the national output.
Now that the NNPC has asserted its authority, everything will normalise.
“Those are the things that brought this succour right now and they should be sustained, “ the expert said.
He said the PMS ex-depot price had remained N148. 19 and had not been increased except additional price by private tanker owners, adding that once the NNPC choked the system with fuel, the pump price would be reduced more at filling stations.
A NAN correspondent who monitored filling stations in the FCT observed the availability of fuel as many stations were seen without queues.
Many stations along Kubwa expressway, including Shema by Katempe hill, AA Rano, Conoil, NNPC Retail station, Mainland, Sunset and NIPCO by Kubwa second gate, had petroleum products without queues.
In the city centre, most stations had few cars and were dispensing with many pumps while attendants beckoned on cars to patronise them.
There were no queues and in places where there were few cars, the operation was orderly.
No station was selling above 180 per litre.
The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) had disbursed over N103 billion bridging claims to oil marketers between December 2021 and August. (NAN)