Petrol Scarcity: Foreign Exchange, High Costs Of Daughter Vessels, Others Hinder Supply — Marketers
The Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, MOMAN, has attributed the prolonged petrol shortage to a lack of foreign exchange, high costs of daughter vessels and inadequate trucks to deliver products from depots to filling stations.
It explained that these factors have continued to put pressure on prices despite efforts made by marketers to end the shortage.
In a statement obtained, MOMAN stated: “MOMAN sympathizes with our customers and Nigerians over the challenges we are facing in the purchase of petrol at filling stations across the country.
“These queues are caused by exceptionally high demand and bottlenecks in the fuel distribution chain. The major cause is the shortage and high (US Dollar) costs of daughter vessels for ferrying products from mother vessels to depots along the coast. Next is the inadequate number of trucks to meet the demand to deliver products from depots to filling stations nationwide.
“These high logistics and exchange rate costs continue to put pressure on prices at the pump. Over the past three months, staff & management of MOMAN companies have worked diligently at depots and filling stations to relieve the stress faced by customers through the Christmas and New Year period. Our members have again agreed to extend depot loading hours as well as keep strategically situated service stations open for longer hours to ease access to fuels for our customers.
“MOMAN shall continue to use its best endeavors to ensure that product is sold at the pump at prices currently approved by the Regulatory Authorities, despite pressure on price by demand and costs in our immediate operating environment.
“A final resolution to these challenges will be the full deregulation of the petroleum downstream sector to encourage liberalization of supply and long-term investments in distribution assets. We urge the government to work towards this end goal”.
However, commenting on the development, the Federal Government has denied giving any directives to marketers to raise the pump price of petrol from N180 per litre to N195.
In a statement, the Minister of State Petroleum Resources Chief Timipre Sylva noted that President Muhammadu Buhari has not approved any price increase for PMS.
He stated: “President Muhammadu Buhari has not approved any increase in the price of PMS or any other petroleum product for that matter. There is no reason for President Muhammadu Buhari to renege on his earlier promise not to approve any increase in the price of PMS at this time. Mr. President is sensitive to the plights of the ordinary Nigerian and has said repeatedly that he understands the challenges of the ordinary Nigerian and would not want to cause untold hardship for the electorates’.
“Government will not approve any increase of PMS secretly without due consultations with the relevant stakeholders. The President has not directed the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) or any agency for that matter to increase the price of fuel. This is not the time for any price increase in the pump price of PMS”.