27 December 2017, Sweetcrude, Lagos – The Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association, DAPPMA, has denied allegations, accusing its members of petroleum products hoarding that had resulted in the scarcity of the products across the country.
In a statement by its Secretary, Olufemi A. Adewole, the group said while it empathises with all Nigerians about the fuel scarcity, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC should be blamed for the situation as it has been the sole importer of Petroleum Motor Spirit, PMS, since October 2017.
“We empathise with Nigerians who are going through difficulties at this time, spending hours on fuel queues because of the current fuel scarcity due to no fault of yours”.
“Historically, DAPPMA members imported about 65% of the nation’s total fuel consumption. Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, MOMAN, imports about 15% while the Petroleum Products Marketing Company/NNPC imports the balance of 20%.
“However, the scenario changed drastically due to several challenges faced by marketers,” association said in the statement.
It added: “Sadly, some people have blamed marketers for hoarding products, unfortunately this is so far from the truth.
“Hoarding is regarded as economic sabotage and we assure all Nigerians that our members are not involved in such illicit acts”.
According to the statement, while it is common knowledge that Nigeria runs a fixed price regime ofN145 per litre for PMS or petrol without any recourse to subsidy claims however, it does not have control over international price of crude oil.
It said the current import price of petrol is about N170 / litre and that the NNPC, which absorbs the attendant subsidy on behalf of the Federal Government, is the importer of last resort.”
“The International price of PMS went up during the Hurricane Harvey and has not dropped below USD$600/MT”, adding that interest rates charged by banks have risen above 25 percent.
“Exchange rate of USD to the Naira is N306 for PMS imports and also interest rate our banks charge is above 25%”.
“Landing cost of PMS in Nigeria is above N145/ltr which means any of our members that imports would have to resort to subsidy claims, a policy already jettisoned by the Federal Government,” the group said.
It also faulted NNPC’s distribution channels, saying: “It is on record that any time NNPC assumes the role of sole importer, there are issues of distribution, because it is marketers who own 80% of the functional receptive facilities and retail outlets in Nigeria”.
The group said while it could not confirm or dispute NNPC’s claim of having sufficient product stock, it can confirm that its members do not have the products and as such, cannot distribute.
“If the products are offshore, then surely, it cannot be considered to be available to Nigerians,” it said.