• Thu. Mar 30th, 2023

    NMDPRA, NNPC, marketers resolve to work toward ending fuel crisis in 48 hours


    Dec 9, 2022

    By Bassey Udo

    Sequel to the ultimatum by the Department of State Services (DSS) for stakeholders in the downstream petroleum subsector to find ways to end the lingering fuel scarcity in the country within 48 hours, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Agency (NMDPRA), the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) and marketers have resolved to work towards meeting that target.

    Hiccups in the petroleum products distribution value chain, which began this year with the toxic fuel saga, has lingered for several months, with long queues a regular feature outside filling stations across the country.

    Petroleum products marketers have consistently blamed the scarcity on the absence of a level playing field among all players in the industry.

    The situation has seen the NNPC emerge as the sole importer and supplier of petroleum products in the country in the face of the poor state of disrepair in the existing four refineries.

    On Wednesday, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) lamented the inability of its members to get products from the NNPC at the approved ex-depot price N148.17 per litre.

    The Group said with its members habe been buying products at N220 per litre ex-depot price from secondary sources, making it practically impossible for them to sell to consumers at the approved retail price of N165 per litre.

    The marketers issued a seven days ultimatum to the NNPCL to work out a concrete arrangement for IPMAN to allow its members to buy fuel at the regulated price of N148.17 per litre like their counterparts in the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), to curb the lingering scarcity.

    On Thursday, the DSS issued a 48 hours ultimatum to the NNPCL and other relevant agencies in the petroleum products distribution value chain to end the fuel supply crisis in the country.

    The spokesperson of the Service, Peter Afunanya, told journalists in Abuja that the agency was able to extract a commitment from the NNPCL and other players in the downstream sector to meet the deadline.

    Earlier, at the meeting between the NMDPRA, NNPCL and other petroleum products marketers, participants resolved to take steps to end within 48 hours the crisis, which has seen retail pump price of petrol jump to between N285 and N300 per litre.

    In attendance at the meeting presided over by the Chief Executive Officer of the NMDPRA, Farouk Ahmed, were representatives of the DSS, MOMAN, Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPPMAN), IPMAN, National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas workers (NUPENG), National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), among others.

    During the meeting, the NNPCL was said to have promised to provide access to about 1.9 billion litres of stock of products in all its depots across the country to all marketers at the existing ex-depot price, while other operators, including tanker owners, also agreed to collaborate to work for 24 hours daily to ensure the queues at the filling stations were cleared.

    At the end of the meeting, the NMDPRA CEO, Farouk Ahmed, said all parties gave firm commitments to restore normalcy in the supply of petroleum products within the stipulated deadline.

    “We’ve heard from all the stakeholders on each of their individual commitments to ensuring adequate supply and distribution of petroleum products. And they re-emphasised that the commitment is to take effect within 48 hours.

    “So we are hoping that with the efficiency in the distribution, both by marine and trucking, in the next 48 hours the commitments will really start and hopefully we will see a positive environment, away from the difficult situation we are experiencing across the nation”, Ahmed said.

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