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|Why Fuel Scarcity May Persist Till 2010 by ichommy(m): 7:23pm On Dec 19, 2009|
Oil industry officials appear not to be telling Nigerians the truth behind the current fuel scarcity in the country. Saturday Tribune can authoritatively reveal that apart from the planned deregulation of the downstream sector, a shortfall in fuel supply is aggravating the scarcity, which is seriously affecting commercial activities in many parts of the country.
Officials of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) had consistently stated that there was enough stock to go round, claiming that the current crisis was artificially induced.
It was learnt, on Friday, that there was, indeed, a shortfall in the volume of petrol being pumped into the market, hence, the current scarcity of the commodity.
Industry watchers put the shortfall at about 12 million litres. A spokesman for one of the independent marketers, who craved anonymity, corroborated the findings.
He noted that the current queues at retail outlets were largely caused by the shortfall in the supply of petrol to the country. According to him, the market needed 32 million litres but it was getting only 20 million.
The NNPC is still the major supplier of petrol to the market with most oil marketers declining to import fuel into the country, despite being issued import permits by PPPRA.
The corporation had said it was set to import an extra 400,000 tonnes of petrol that would last from December through January, to avoid shortages over the Christmas and New Year period.
Investigations by Saturday Tribune showed that the scarcity still persists in some parts of Lagos, with a few stations that have supplies witnessing long queues of vehicles.
However, there are indications that the crisis might persist till the end of January. An official of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) insisted that the country was experiencing a short supply of petrol, andt refuted the claim of the NNPC that the shortage was caused by alleged hoarding of the product by marketers.
Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) said that Mosimi depot was dry, pointing out that system 2B, which is the most strategic because it serves the depots in Ibadan, Ilorin, Ore and others, had experienced short supply.
A source, who disclosed that loading at the depot at the moment was very tight, said marketers were getting about three million litres on a daily basis before the present crisis.
According to the source, the marketers were now loading from Apapa because of the shortage at Mosimi. Besides, the situation may be further compounded, as the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) told Nigerians to prepare for a nationwide strike by tanker drivers from December 23.
Their grouse is over the N1.2 billion debt which MTEL allegedly owed B.B. King Oil West Africa, a company owned by a tanker driver, for diesel supplied to the telecommunications outfit.
|Re: Why Fuel Scarcity May Persist Till 2010 by ichommy(m): 7:23pm On Dec 19, 2009|
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