Fuel Scarcity: Face-off between marketers, DPR continues

By Post Nigeria July 9, 2015 14:12

Fuel Scarcity: Face-off between marketers, DPR continues

Despite calls for an end the lingering fuel scarcity in the country, the meeting between the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, and major players in the downstream sector of the petroleum industry yesterday ended in a deadlock.

According to reports the meeting which was initiated by the regulators, in Lagos to restore normalcy and end sharp practices by marketers was not attended by the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, MOMAN, and the Depot and Petroleum Marketers Association, DAPPMA.

The acting Director of DPR Ladan Modecai, berated petroleum marketers for unduly selling products above the Government approved price even when it’s clear that Nigeria has a supply that can sustain it for several months.
The DPR boss who was represented at the meeting by Alphonsus Mudai, head Downstream Operations explained that available information indicated that marketers have flouted Government policy by manipulating pump prices and in some cases hoard products.

Modecai also threatened to shut down facilities of operators who indulge in malpractices.

“This meeting is therefore convened to reiterate the resolve of the Department of Petroleum Resources to ensure that henceforth, the DPR would not allow a situation whereby supply of PMS is dictated by the private interests of marketers and dealers to the detriment of the Nigerian public, neither will the Department condone any act of selling PMS above official pump price in government licensed facilities under any guise whatsoever,” the director warned.

DPR however urged marketers to desist from hoarding the product. Failing to do this would mean the agency would be forced to deny any marketers from participation in the Petroleum Support Fund scheme.

It is unclear as to why the marketers where not present at the meeting, however reports have it that a representative of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria IPMAN, Kunle Bamgboye refuted DPR’ s claims that they are responsible for the rot in the system.

Stating emphatically it would be unfair on the part of the agency to accuse marketers of hoarding and threaten sanctions accordingly when it’s obvious that there are interrupted supplies of the product lately.

He said IPMAN members do not import products but rely solely on the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.
Reports indicate that the Federal Government is yet to pay the N159billion outstanding payment owed to marketers who import refined petroleum products into the country although some of the marketers say the debt has climbed to N300bn.

An acute fuel shortage crippled the country’s economy in April and May as importers shut their depots to press their case, because they were worried that the new Government of Buhari would not honour the debt.
Last week, the country saw a return of long queues in filling stations and a hike in the price of Premium Motor Spirit in some stations, stoking up activity in the black market.