• NARTO threatens strike over cost
• No scarcity of product, says NNPC
Daily Courier – The nation may witness petrol scarcity as the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, is locked in a huge debt recovery drive from major oil marketers.
This is as Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) has threatened to stop the haulage of petroleum products across the country over N430 per litre cost of diesel and other operational challenges.
Daily Courier reports that the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has been reformed and incorporated as the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Limited) to assume a commercial status in the new Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).
The debt recovery drive is a n effort to reposition the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Limited).
Across the major cities in Nigeria, the bickering among stakeholders in the industry is having its toil on commuters. In Lagos and Abuja, the queues, which have lingered for some days had persist.
In both cities, black marketers flooded major highways with petrol in cans, selling to motorists on the roadside.
In Lagos, vehicles lined up at Ajah, Lekki, Victoria Island and the mainland areas in search of premium motor spirit (PMS), otherwise known as petrol.
It was the same situation in Sango-Ota, Mowe, Ibafo and Arepo axis on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
There were long queues all over Abuja. Very few petrol stations had the product while most of the outlets in the satellite towns of Kubwa, APO, Bwari, Gwagwalada among others were shut.
The few that had the product were packed with vehicles. It was the same in the outskirts.
At the city centre, queues created gridlock in parts of Wuse and Garki.
Black marketers had a field day, selling from between N300 to N400 per litre.
Transport fare has been slightly affected across the FCT while fares have remained unchanged in Lagos but the same cannot be said of long distance trips and long queues at the filling stations have worsened traffic congestion in those locations.
Reports revealed that the NNPC had stopped products supply to Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) following the significant debt they are owing the corporation.
Industry operators have blamed NNPC for selective treatment where major marketers are offered products on credit arrangements while independent marketers are forced to pay before receiving supply.
They said the situation has now degenerated to a point where heavy debts are affecting operations of the corporation.
No scarcity of product, says NNPC
The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited said there was no need for panic buying.
Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Garba Deen Muhammad, said in a statement: “The NNPC Ltd wishes to assure the public that the company has sufficient PMS stock to meet the needs of Nigerians.
“The public is, therefore, advised not to engage in panic buying of petrol; and to ignore all rumours that may suggest otherwise.
“In line with the existing laws of the land, NNPC Ltd. is deeply committed to ensuring energy security for the country.”
Also, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has assured Nigerians of the availability of petroleum products across the country.
IPMAN’s president, Chinedu Okoronkwo, gave the assurance while reacting to the return of fuel queues in Lagos.
He told our correspondent on phone that members of his group usually secure bank facilities and make payment to NNPC before receiving supply.
Okoronkwo also appealed to the NMDPRA to hasten the payment of billions of Naira to marketers as bridging cost.
He said: “We want to assure Nigerians that we are ready to cooperate with the government to ensure that there is hitch-free supply of petroleum products across the country.
“IPMAN is calling on the NMDPRA to hasten the payment of bridging debts owed to marketers by the defunct Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF) to enable seamless operations in the industry.”
Okoronkwo noted that the bridging payment was necessary to encourage marketers to transport petrol from the depot to other depots that are experiencing supply shortfall due to distance.
He said the NMDPRA, which took over from PEF, had assured the marketers of the payments following a series of meetings over the issue.
NARTO threatens strike over cost
Meanwhile, NARTO has decried the delay in the payment of about N45 billion bridging cost, demanding an increase in the transportation allowance factored into the pump price of petrol.
Earlier this year, the federal government had hinted at a 20 per cent hike in the cost of freighting petrol across the country, as part of measures to boost the revenue of transport owners. The increase would have raised the cost of bridging petrol to N9.11 per litre from N7.51 in the petrol pricing template of Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA.
Decrying the prevailing situation, Othman said, “We will tell them (tanker drivers) to park if nothing is done because we can’t operate in such a way.
“Therefore, transporters whose freight rate is fixed and regulated cannot sustain the business if nothing is done.
“We can’t operate. We can’t work if nothing is done to increase the freight rate. The condition is unbearable because of the cost of diesel.”
He urged the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) to urgently increase the freight rate to reflect the present cost of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) diesel and spare parts.
According to him, the ex-depot cost of diesel soared to N401 per litre on Monday.
Othman cried that it might hit N420 per litre at the filling stations if something is not done urgently.
For there to be a leeway, Othman asked the federal government to convene a stakeholders’ meeting to increase the freight rate and address other pressing issues of cost of operation.
“It is just to regulate our rising operation cost. It is as simple as that. Otherwise, our people have parked their trucks and more people are going to park.
“We can’t operate that way. Transporters whose freight rate is fixed and regulated cannot sustain the business if nothing is done.
“We can’t work if nothing is done to increase the freight rate. The condition is unbearable because of the cost of diesel,” he said.
Othman urged the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) to urgently increase the freight rate to reflect the present cost of diesel and spare parts.
According to him, the ex-depot cost of diesel soared to N401 per litre yesterday and may hit N420 per litre if something is not done urgently.”
He urged the NMDPRA Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Malam Farouk Ahmed, to convene a stakeholder meeting to increase the freight rate and address other pressing issues of cost of operation.
“Today, the price of AGO ex-depot is N401 per litre. It
Petrol sufficiency days and stock figures are receding and unstable, according to an NMDPRA sufficiency report for January 27, February 2, and February 3.
The NNPC used to boast about 30 to 40 days stock sufficiency and about 2 billion metres, but the stock has dipped to 25.45 24 days sufficiency and about 1,425,046,694 litres as of February 3.
From the stock breakdown, there were 769,417,053 litres in-land, 98,365,735 litres at berth and 557,263,906 litres marine stock.
The reserve was 1,506,046,692 litres on February 2, an equivalent of 26.89 days sufficiency.
The breakdown for February 2 was 769,293,346 litres of land-based stock and 736,753,128 marine stock at berth (offshore).
On January 27, the reserve was a 1,345,338,930 litres stock of petrol.
Last month, the stock day sufficiency receded from 26.78 days on January 26 to 24.02 days sufficiency on January 27.
As of January 27, there was total in-land stock of 788,968,309 litres and 213,917,185 litres as total jetty (at berth) stock.
The report added that there were 342,453,436 litres of marine stock. The total reserve for the day was 1,345,338,930 litres. The previous day, the reserve was 1,499,806,953 being 26.78 days stock sufficiency.
The stock sufficiency was 25.47 days on January 25.
Ahead of Yuletide, the NNPC said it raised its reserves from 1.7billion to 2 billion litres.
Nigeria consumes between 54 million to 60 million of petrol daily.
The scarcity followed rumours that the Federal Government planned to remove the subsidy.
Despite the subsequent announcement that the government had shelved the subsidy removal plan, products supply was still a far cry from the demand for it.