As fuel scarcity bites hard in Lagos metropolis, depot owners under the auspices of Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA) said yesterday that their depots are currently empty as a result of lack of supply from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
Currently, NNPC is the sole importer of petroleum products particularly, Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) or petrol, into the country as depot owners and major oil marketers complained of lack of liquidity and access to forex.
According to DAPPMA executive secretary, Mr Olufemi Adewole, “we have not been getting fuel supply from NNPC since the past one week”, adding that the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and other regulatory agencies could carry inspection visit on their depots to confirm what he was saying.
“As I am speaking with you, we don’t have any stock. We had expected that based on our meeting with NNPC three weeks ago, our depots should be adequately stocked. Right now, I can’t say exactly what is going on because we have played our part and NNPC should play its own,” he said
For the Independent Petroleum Markers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Western zone, Alhaji Debo Ahmed said the situation may be worse than imagined in the next few days if there is no intervention from NNPC.
“Right now, Ibadan depot is not loading. Lagos NNPC’s Satellite depot started loading yesterday night. Ore and Ilorin depots have long shut down,” he said
Meanwhile, the persistent fuel scarcity is taking its toll on Lagos residents as illegal fuel hawkers resurfaced, besieging major roads, especially around filling stations.
It was observed yesterday that since the scarcity started at the weekend, a lot of hawkers have flooded virtually all the streets, selling products to desperate buyers.
Further checks revealed that petrol filling stations within the city and few owned by some major marketers in the outskirts of Lagos metropolis still sell at the official price of N145 per litre, while other stations now sell at N170-N200 per litre.
Accordingly, due to the persisting scarcity, many commuters are left stranded at the various bus stops due to lack of commercials vehicles, while the few ones still plying have jerked up their fares by more than 50 per cent.
However, NNPC has said that about 250 trucks of petrol was released to Lagos metropolis on Sunday to address the lingering scarcity.