Petroleum marketers threaten imports boycott

*Fuel scarcity looms

Kunle Kalejaye

19 July 2012, Sweetcrude, LAGOS – NIGERIA’s oil marketers are threatening to boycott fuel importation unless the government took action to reimburse costs they incurred in previous fuel import transactions.

The development could cause another round of fuel scarcity in the country.

The oil marketers, under the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, urged the Federal Government to take swift action in reimbursing marketers to enable them import petrol and avoid the looming scarcity.

Alhaji Dele Tajudeen, chairman, IPMAN, Mosinmi Depot Chapter, told news men in Lagos that most depots would run out of stock within two weeks due to the absence of funds to restock.

He therefore, advised the federal government to urgently address the issue of importation, by reimbursing the marketers to enable them resume importation of the petrol.

He said that most depots around Apapa area have started experiencing scarcity, adding that trucks at the depots now stay on long queues to load products that are not available.

He said,”The pressure will continue to mount because most depots in Apapa do not have products, but since people have stock in their stations, you will not notice it now, but there is already pressure.

“Demand has been so high in the last five days, which means something is in the offing. You will not notice it now, but in the next two to three weeks you will notice it, because people are still having stock and this is rainy season and demand it not very high at this time.”

Tajudeen said that the situation in the country called for divine intervention, because the whole situation was worrisome adding that “we are battling with subsidy probe, now it is importation of products, when are we going to recover from all these.

“Whenever there is any probe in Nigeria you find out that you won’t get to hear anything about it at the end. We were told that we have almost consumed the subsidy for the year, at the middle of the year, this means that there is a problem, a looming problem, because if we don’t import, naturally there is going to be scarcity of petroleum products.”

The implication of monies not been paid to marketers to import petroleum products, is the inevitable scarcity of fuel, he said.

But, he advised the government to deregulate the petroleum sector to ease the problem of importation adding that government should be sincere with the people in achieving laudable deregulation of the petroleum industry.

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  • The current regulated environment does not bode well for cost recovery of any sort. It is high time government commence implementation of the deregulation programme.