Yemisi Izuora/Ijeoma Agudosi
Fuel scarcity is at its rough stage for motorists as queues at filling stations continues to lengthen causing traffic hiccup and loss of man hour.
Some stakeholders placed the blame on marketers accusing them of making brisk business.
Diran Fawibe chairman of International Energy Services, in reaction to the current situation blamed marketers for creating unwholesome situation for the public.
Fawibe said the marketers would always find loophole in every situation to rip off the public.
He said since government cancelled subsidy regime and began implementation of Offshore Processing Arrangement (OPA) the marketers are deploying other anti government policy to profit from inadequate petrol supply from the NNPC.
Meanwhile, the Petroleum Tankers Drivers (PTD) Branch of National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has put the blame on the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for the fuel scarcity in some parts of the country.
PTD National Chairman Comrade Salimon Akanni Oladiti, while speaking with the media in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, said that oil marketers were not hoarding fuel.
“We are not conniving with anybody to make Nigerians suffer for fuel. For some time now, we have not been able to load at NNPC depot in Apata, Ibadan and there is no hope of loading in some other NNPC depots in the Southwest.
“Government is responsible for this problem, because if they bring enough oil into the country, we as distributors we are ready to sell it out. It’s so sad that we are one of the largest producers of oil, but we are still suffering from scarcity,” he said
Oladiti added: “NNPC imports about 75 per cent of the oil we are consuming in the country. The remaining 25 percentage is for major marketers.
“What the government is trying to tackle still exist; corruption is still in the oil industry. There is corruption and bribery at the oil depots and you have to face this hurdle before you can load your truck.”
He noted that government needs to find lasting solution to incessant fuel scarcity, adding: “The common man in the country is suffering.”
He urged the government to embark on aggressive rehabilitations of roads and railway networks
Also, the National Operations Controller of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) Mike Osatuyi equally blamed the NNPC for inability to meet domestic demand of petrol.
He told Oriental News Nigeria that NNPC lacked the capacity to meet with the supply need of the nation and that marketers cannot import under current template.
However, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has assured of sufficient supply of premium motor spirit (petrol) as it has taken delivery of four more cargoes of the product over the weekend to keep the country wet.
The deliveries which amount to about 180 million litres is part of a new arrangement by the corporation to have a cargo of PMS delivered daily as from March.
The corporation which made the announcement in a statement made available to the journalists stated that the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, has warned depot owners against selling petrol above the approved ex-depot price of N77 per litre.
The warning comes against the background of repeated complaints by marketers of sharp practices at the depots.
The statement quotes the minister as warning that depot owners found to be involved in selling products above the approved ex-depot prices would be severely sanctioned.