Kunle Kalejaye 30 January 2017, Sweetcrude, Lagos – The Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association, DAPPMA, has blamed the scarcity of domestic kerosene and automative gas oil, AGO, also known as diesel on the high exchange rate in the country.
DAPPMA executive secretary, Mr. Olufemi Adewole, said in an interview that shortage of foreign exchange for marketers to import petroleum products, including kerosene, had made it impossible for marketers to bring in enough products, hence the shortage of kerosene and diesel.
“The winter period also contributed to the challenge because prices of petroleum products usually rise during this period.
“There is higher demand for petroleum products outside the country during winter. It is well known in the international oil industry that during winter there is more concentration on some particular products and it is usually very expensive to import such products,” he explained.
He urged the Federal Government to provide adequate foreign exchange to marketers to enable them import more products and increase supply.
Independent Petroleum Marketers of Nigeria, IPMAN, National Operations Controller, Mr. Mike Osatuyi, said IPMAN members also do not have access to foreign exchange to import kerosene and diesel.
He said his colleagues relied on the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, for their supplies as he called on the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to take a second look at its forex policy.
“The issue is that it (forex) is not available, and secondly, most of our refineries are not loading. Even if they load, they will be selling it at exorbitant rates to marketers. Members cannot import because of forex and besides, kerosene is not fully deregulated. Unlike diesel, kerosene and petrol are not fully deregulated,” he said.
A litre of kerosene sells for as much as N300 per litre across the country.
NNPC Group General Manager, Public Affairs, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, said the corporation had begun production of kerosene and diesel at Kaduna, Port Harcourt and Warri refineries.
He said the refineries would balance the disequilibrium in demand and supply of the products being experienced in some parts of the country.
Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company’s Managing Director, Mr. Solomon Ladenegan, said the plant had been doing well since its Crude Distillation Unit, CDU, was revved up.
According to him, the Warri Refinery refines two million litres of kerosene and three million litres of diesel daily.
Port Harcourt Refining Company Managing Director, Dr. Bafred Enjugu, said refinery produces three million litres of kerosene and diesel daily.