20 March 2016, Abuja – The intrigues of fuel import allocation may have triggered uneven distribution of petroleum products across the country, even as the loading process is foot-dragging due to poor facility utilisation.
The Guardian investigations revealed that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), which holds about 78 per cent of the petroleum products import allocation for the first quarter, lacks enough capacity for storage and distribution, hence it relies on other independent depots in a throughput arrangement.
Indeed, the only vessel at the Apapa jetty tagged ‘Captain Gregory’ and laden with the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), was yet to discharge products since it arrived on Monday.
As the Marketers lament shortage of products in the system, they were however waiting patiently for the vessel to discharge products, which they said would help reduce the distribution logjam.
The Nigerian Independent Petroleum Company (NIPCO), which distributes fuel on behalf of the NNPC, was out of stock yesterday, while reports showed that Capital Oil, also in the throughput arrangement have limited stocks. A visit to the Ejigbo depot showed slow loading process, with numbers of tankers queuing endless to get products.
Techno Oil, Emadeb and Integrated Oil were selling products amid intense lobbying. This is coming, as many filling stations remain under lock, and the few that have stock are recording lengthy queues.
Some of the marketers that spoke with The Guardian blamed it on the lack of foreign exchange, and the low allocation of import quotas (22 per cent) to the major and independent marketers, who hold larger storage and distribution capacities.
The spokesperson of the Pipelines Products Marketing Company (PPMC), Israel Edjerin, was not immediately available for comments, as his phone line was switched off.
- The Guardian