Fuel crisis may linger till Christmas, IPMAN alerts Nigerians

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THE South West Chairman of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Mr Tajudeen Adigun, has warned that the scarcity might extend to the Yuletide season unless it is quickly addressed.

He also said there was a massive shortfall in supply by the importer of last resort, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL).

‘’Once there is a shortfall in supply, this will create disruption in the distribution channel and that is what is being experienced now,” he said.

He said history has shown over the years that the demand for Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) popularly called petrol is usually on the rise during the Yuletide.

He said people engage in a lot of intra and inter state travels during this period, saying any slight hiccup in supply will lead to fuel scarcity.

Adigun added that the shortage of daughter vessels was adversely affecting the turnaround time of petrol evacuation.

Adigun explained that due to the shortage of the daughter vessels, it takes about one week for such a vessel to make a trip, thus compounding the challenges around petroleum distribution and evacuation.

The IPMAN boss said most of the depot owners were adversely affected by this development as the cost of chartering daughter vessels have recorded an astronomical rise in recent times.

‘‘You know the depth of our water is too shallow for mother vessels to berth. So what happens is that, they wait some kilometres away for the smaller vessels to evacuate petroleum products and this comes at an additional cost,” he said.

According to the Executive Secretary of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), Mr Clement Isong, the cost of hiring a daughter vessel to bring the product from onshore to offshore is now $45, 000 per day as against the previous $20, 000 per day because of the high cost of diesel.

This, he said, is aside other charges paid, including the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) among other charges.

Adigun further added that the poor state of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) depots in South West, which have not functioned due to the effect of pipeline vandals in the last two years, was also a major setback.

Adigun listed the non-functional depots to include Lagos Satellite depot in Ejigbo, Mosimi, Ore, Ibadan and Ilorin. He said the dysfunctional state of these depots was putting pressure on the little petroleum product available in Lagos as marketers will have to come as far as Ilorin to load products in Lagos which was at variance with what the intention was when these depots were established.

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