The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, has attributed the looming scarcity of fuel in the country to the upward review in prices of crude oil in the International market.
In an interview with our correspondent, Chairman of IPMAN, Rivers State, Dr Obele Ngechu, said Depots no longer sell Premium Motor Spirit PMS to Marketers, making it difficult for them to get fuel at the moment.
He explained that the scarcity of foreign exchange is the contributing factor, as the prevailing landing cost of PMS is now one hundred eighty (180) naira per litre which is likely to affect the selling price.
“Of recent we just discovered that depots are not selling to Marketers anymore, the reason being the increase of crude oil in the International market.
“In a meeting a few days ago with Labour and the Minister of State for Petroleum, they proposed to increase fuel price, but labour said no to the increment. At the moment, two things are likely to happen, either they increase fuel price to the prevailing landing cost which is one hundred and eighty (180) naira per litre or they the payment of subsidy.
“Recall the budget for 2021 have no single provision for payment of subsidy, at the moment it would be either a supplementary approval provision for payment of subsidy, then petrol price will remain same or they increase the price to the prevailing landing cost.
“If Marketers import PMS at the rate of 180 per litre, the selling rate should be 190-200 per litre, but labour said no to increment. This is the crisis we are facing right now, Marketers are no longer importing from the International market”.
Dr Ngechu noted that the primary root cause of the constant increase of Petroleum products in the market is the failure of the state government to fix the four refineries in the country.
“We have been calling on stakeholders in the Petroleum industry before now to ensure these refineries are fixed, but they chose to play deaf ears, they are seeing the negative result of the refineries not being functional.
“We have this crude oil locally, and if we are refining with our refineries and our plant locally, we would not have had business with the rise of crude oil in the International market.
“Dollar is being exchanged for 480-500 naira in the black market. This is why Nigerians will likely experience fuel scarcity a few days from now”