Fuel crisis: NNPC to sell petrol directly to marketers

FG plans to increase fuel price to N180 per litre

"Due to massive diversion, hoarding, panic buying and smuggling, coupled with the information that three Direct Sales Direct Purchase Consortia had rejected October cargoes, there was insinuation of a supply gap", Baru noted.

According to the Director of Press in the ministry, Mr. Idang Alibi, the Ministry of Petroleum Resources will like to categorically state that the minister never mentioned nor insinuated the need or plans by the Federal Government to increase the current pump price of petrol.

They also denied accusations that they were to blame for the scarcity of the product across the country.

He also asked the National Assembly to approve outstanding subsidy payments and debts to marketers.

The Minister, who appeared before the National Assembly Joint Committees on Petroleum, also added that its a shame that Nigeria can not refine its crude oil after 40 years of activities in the downstream.

The chairman of DAPPMAN, Dapo Abiodun, said the meeting was important, as it gave all participants opportunity to find out what really caused the scarcity.

"But the greatest hard in Nigeria is that people make allegations but when you ask for evidence even one, everybody now goes back into the safety nets".

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On whether such people are really blackmailers as described by President Buhari in his nationwide broadcast, the minister said: "In fact the Chief of Staff instructed that specific names should be put on the table, those who have gone against the rule, done certain things that are against the book should be punished". "A lot of issues were raised and a committee was constituted that will meet today under the chairmanship of the Minister of Petroleum to further go into the nitty gritty and to ensure that these problems do not reoccur again".

"From our point of view as marketers, we made our submission known to government and we emphasized the fact that this was not a marketer-related problem".

While stating that marketers did not hoard fuel contrary to the belief in many quarters, he explained that since the price of crude oil went up as a result of Hurricane Harvey in the United States in September, the marketers could no longer import and sell at a controlled price of N145 per litre. So you can imagine a situation where NNPC was importing in part and marketers were importing in part and then suddenly NNPC begins to import 100%. And this business is a partnership between marketers and NNPC.

"There is no subsidy at the moment".

The additional volumes is premised on the prevailing NNPC one-Cargo-per day fuel import arrangement created to guarantee the daily discharge of over 40 million litres of petrol.

A motorist, Oladele Toba, who spoke with NAN, expressed joy over this development and said, "The visible queue you see in the mega station is because they dispense at N143 per liter, even below the government regulated price of N145". A correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, who went round to monitor situation in the city, reports that although the price is still remained high, motorist now drive into the stations easily to buy fuel.

"Independent marketers would not be able to import the product at the current foreign exchange rate, saying the marketers were able to sell for N145 per litre when the exchange rate was N285 per Dollar". The marketers can not import the PMS because of the cost of the crude oil.

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