Long queues are forming in fuel stations in major Nigerian cities as the country’s authorities accuse marketers of creating an artificial scarcity.
Nigeria’s Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC), the state-owned petroleum distributor, has warned motorists against the current panic-buying of petrol, saying there is enough stock.
Mr Justine Ezeala, the executive director of PPMC, said in Abuja on Saturday that given the “openness and transparent nature” of PPMC, it was important to let Nigerians know the true situation of fuel supplies.
Giving a precise breakdown of fuel stocks and supplies in the country, Mr Ezeala said that 656,376,326 litres of petrol have been supplied to fuel stations across the country.
According to him the supply comprised of stocks from PPMC depots, PPB Throughport depots, the Marine stock and stock from Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN).
He explained that PPMC depots had supplied 66,811 litres, PPMC Throughport depots 117,483 litres, Marine stocks 427,970,786 litres, while MOMAM supplied 44,111,540 litres.
An additional 756,990,488 litres of fuel stock was being expected at the end of November, Mr Ezeala assured.
OverpricingDaily fuel consumption in Nigeria averages some 40 million litres
The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) is the enforcement agency that ensures those in the fuel business don’t hoard the products or sell above the official price.
Some motorists have accused fuel stations of hoarding and increasing the pump price.
A taxi driver in Abuja, Mr Amos Alabi, told Africa Review that he had been compelled to buy fuel at N100 (US 50 cents) against the official price of N87 a litre.
Meanwhile, the DPR has started sanctioning profiteers as it sealed two petrol stations in Offa Local Government Area of Kwara State on Saturday for selling above the official pump price.
The State Controller of the DPR, Mr Philip Salvation, listed the affected stations as AB Lawal Petroleum and De-Oduwoye Brothers Limited.
He said the petrol stations were engaged in overpricing, under-delivering and tampering with DPR seals.
The the stations were suspended for one month and will pay a fine of N2million each.
“This will serve as a deterrent to other marketers,” Mr Salvation said. “They will not be allowed to lift fuel in Ilorin depot and from Lagos depot.”
SOURCE: AFRICA REVIEW