As the acute shortage of petrol ravaging the country entered its second week Monday, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has disclosed that no inland depot has received clean petrol that would boost supply to filling stations.
IPMAN Public Relations Officer, Chief Chinedu Ukadike who spoke to Vanguard on the situation in a telephone chat said the Federal Government was yet to improve supply, warning that it would take another two weeks for supply to normalize.
In Abuja, there was no sign of let-up in the shortage of petrol as fewer stations were opened to motorists with black marketers selling at N400 per litre.
Chief Ukadike said the challenges facing the downstream sector were enormously urging the government to begin the process of compensating marketers who have lost a lot of money during the period.
He explained: “Nothing much has changed in the last few days, the issue is that up till now we have not seen the intervention of the NNPC based on evacuating these products (bad fuel) from some of our stations. Some marketers are trying to see if they can get new products and blend it to see if they can move.
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“Marketers capitals have been tied down and the bad product is also occupying their storage tank and that is why you are seeing some skeletal services. Some also have their tanks quarantined, so it is not easy.
“We have been expecting products in the inland depots like the Port Harcourt Refinery depot but up till now, no product has been received. These things happen. Once there is a break in the supply chain it will take some time to fix. Forget what people are saying it will take one-two to three weeks to fill in the gaps. It is talking about evacuating and replacing, it is not just about the shortage, it is also about evacuating and replacing”.
He noted that while Port Harcourt where his based has not witnessed the acute shortage being experienced in many parts of the country, he said most of the marketers who have placed orders have not received the supply.
While urging consumers to be patient, he observed that many motorists have engaged in racketeering where they “fill up their tanks, go to sell to black marketers and return to the queues. I want to advise our people to stop patronizing black marketers, this will help also in solving the problem”, he added.
Chief Ukadike also disclosed that private depots have also increased their price to N163 per litre, stressing that it was impossible for marketers to sell at N165 per litre.
He however urged the NNPC Limited to supply independent marketers with products to help ease the shortage across the country.