The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) on Monday advised motorists and other fuel users in the country against panic buying as fuel queues resurfaced at the weekend to in Abuja and Lagos.
Investigations by BRTNews.ng on the downstream market situation both in Lagos and Abuja showed that many filling stations were not selling petroleum products as many of the marketers attributed the closure of their facilities to rising depot price and lack of access to petrol due to the latest Petroleum Products Marketing Company’s (PPMC’s )payment rules on product lifting
Some of the filling stations disbursing fuel in Abuja at the weekend were selling at between N165 and N170 per litre in violation of the NNPC order that there would be no increase in petrol price in February.
The NNPC spokesman, Dr. Kennie Obateru, still maintained the corporation’s pricing advice remained in force and therefore urged motorists and other fuel users to avoid panic buying or hoarding of products.
Meanwhile, the IPMAN also advised fuel users to stop panic buying and stocking petrol.
The National Public Relations Officer of IPMAN, Alhaji Suleiman Yakubu, was quoted by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) as saying that there is no need for queues at the filling stations, particularly in Lagos and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
He said: “We want to assure the buyers that government and marketers are doing everything possible to ensure that the products are available in every filling station within a few days starting from today.”
Notwithstanding the assurances of the NNPC and IPMAN, the Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria (PETROAN) linked the queue build up at the filling stations to rising depot price and increasing difficulty to lift petrol from the depots.
The National President of the association, Dr. Billy Gillis-Harry, alleged that the depot owners had hiked the product price, thereby making it difficult for marketers to continue to sell at N162 or N163.
He said: “We already saw this coming three Fridays ago. To make matters worse, PPMC has changed their payment style which is very inefficient. That’s why you are seeing what you are seeing. And the government will tell you they have supply. But where is the supply?
“The retailers cannot have access, marketers cannot have access. The only people they are giving products are the depots and what’s the depot doing, their prices are excruciating on our accounts. It’s simple, retailers cannot restock”, Gillis-Harry added.