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HomeEnergy‘NNPCL Not Supplying Us’, Say Oil Marketers As Fuel Scarcity Hits  More...

‘NNPCL Not Supplying Us’, Say Oil Marketers As Fuel Scarcity Hits  More States

Marketers have blamed the fresh scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) popularly known as petrol on a supply challenge from the major oil supplier in the country, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited.

The National President of the Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria (PETROAN), Billy Gillis-Harry, made this known on Monday..

The fresh fuel scarcity has grounded many economic activities in states across the Federation as Nigerians queue up at filling stations nationwide.

While some motorists were lucky to get fuel at some retail outlets for between N700 and N,1200 per litre after hours of sweat and contest, others weren’t so lucky as many retail outlets were shut, with their excuse being supply challenge.

The shortage of the premium product saw black marketers selling petrol for as high as N2,000 per litre in states.

Snake-like queues at filling stations in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kaduna, Sokoto, Kano, Benue, Sokoto, and other places have worsened the traffic situation in the states as the long queues spilt on major roads, hindering vehicular movement just as thousands of people were stranded at bus stops with transport fares doubling the previous amounts.

Though many outlets owned by independent oil marketers remained shut, checks by our correspondent in Lagos showed that NNPC retail outlets sell petrol at N568 per litre but not many motorists could survive the unending queues and jostling for sometimes six hours to get the premium product.

Last Thursday, NNPC spokesman, Olufemi Soneye, said the “tightness in the supply of Premium Motor Spirit currently being experienced in some areas across the country is as a result of logistics issues and that they have been resolved”.

The NNPC also said the prices of petroleum products won’t change and urged Nigerians to avoid panic buying as there was sufficient product in the country.

However, PETROAN boss, Billy Gillis-Harry, said the supply challenge has not been resolved though he acknowledged efforts by NNPC to solve the problem.

Gillis-Harry said, “NNPC has its own outlets that they also serve. So if they have some logistics issues, that will possibly be what is internal to NNPC. But as for us, PETROAN members, we can tell Nigerians for real that if we have petroleum products delivered to us, supply to us upon payment for those same products, we will supply to Nigerians.

“I would like to correct Nigerians that we retail outlet owners or marketers as they generally call all of us is the reason for this. We do not have any reason not to serve the public and we are willing to serve the public. All that is required is for us to have petroleum products delivered to us from NNPC and we will make sure that our retail outlets are open, some of them are even open for 24 hours.

“The challenge of logistics is only relevant to the NNPC retail outlets.”

Last May, President Bola Tinubu removed subsidy on petrol with the pump price of the product jumping from about N184 to about N600 per litre. The move aimed at the deregulation of the oil sector has inflicted untold hardship on Nigerians with the prices of basic commodities going through the roof.

High-cost-of-living protests subsequently broke out across the country, with labour unions demanding new minimum wage for workers to cope with the inflationary pressure. The government has continued to placate citizens with the introduction of palliatives — as interim interventions — and encouraging them to endure the pain of the moment.

On Sunday, the President defended his action again when he told world leaders at the World Economic Forum in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, that his administration’s decision to remove the petrol subsidy was very necessary to prevent the country from going bankrupt.

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