Fuel Availability: It Is Not Yet Uhuru
Nigeria News take a look at the present situation of fuel across the country and why the scarcity may extend till next year.
Now that only the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC can import petroleum products, it means the scarcity of fuel may persist beyond December, which ends on Sunday.
In the last few days, as part of its efforts to ameliorate the fuel situation in the country, NNPC has been flooding the various oil depots with the Premium Motor Spirit.
The Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, MOMAN depends on NNPC to get fuel, which will be distributed to all its filling stations for motorists to buy.
The Independent Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria cannot import oil for now and it is affecting the volume of oil that eventually gets to the market for sale.
While the major oil marketers, which include, Mobil Nigeria Plc, Total Nigeria Plc and MRS can easily get PMS from NNPC on credit, the independent oil marketers cannot.
By today, banks will close and there will be a shortage of money for the independent oil marketers to buy PMS from NNPC, which of course will reduce drastically the number of tankers that will load fuel to discharge at filling stations.
About two days ago, NNPC said it could not sell PMS to oil marketers because the association owed it N27bn.
However, in a swift reaction, the Executive Secretary, Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, Mr Obafemi Olawore, said that it was NNPC that actually owed the association $2 billion.
He asked the government to deduct the marketers’ debt from the $2bn it owed the oil dealers.
Going by his argument, the NNPC is expected to pay about N800 billion debt to the oil marketers.
It appears that the NNPC and the oil marketers are gradually drawing another battle line that may subject the country into another round of fuel scarcity.
Currently, there a few filling stations that are dispensing in Lagos and the queue is growing longer again.
Asides Lagos, many states of the federation are still battling with fuel scarcity. Many filling stations in the neighbouring states of Ogun, Oyo and Osun states do not have fuel.
The Department of Petroleum Resources has been going round to monitor filling stations that hoard fuel and has sealed some of them.
However, our correspondent who has been monitoring the fuel situation noticed that many of the filling stations only have reserves in their tanks and not ready to dispense it to motorists.
While Nigerians will be joining the rest of the world to celebrate New Year in about three days, the fuel scarcity is not yet abated, the Federal Government will need to step up its game.