The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, says it is partnering with Pipelines and Product Marketing Company, PPMC, to expose those marketers selling petrol above pump price of N145 per litre.
The Chairman of Board of Trustees of the IPMAN, Aminu Abdulkadir, made this known in Abuja on Sunday when he responded to questions on the resurfacing of petrol queues in filling stations in Abuja and environs.
He disclosed that he had already received a letter from the PPMC authorising him to report any oil depot found to be selling petroleum products above the ex-depot price.
“I have since received a letter from the MD, PPMC, informing me or instructing me that any depot that we found to be selling above ex-depot price should be reported to him so that he will take serious punitive measure against such depot or oil terminal in this country.
“I think this is the first time I’m seeing such level of transparency from the side of NNPC and the PPMC and therefore, we are all out to ensure that we collaborate and augment all their shortfalls,’’ he said.
On persistent petrol queues in Abuja and other parts of the country in spite massive movement of the commodity to retail outlets by the PPMC, Mr Abdulkadir exonerated both NNPC and PPMC from the blame.
According to him, Nigerians have continued to engage in panic buying in spite government’s assurance of the availability of the products.
He also blamed some middlemen whom he said were fond of hoarding the products in anticipation of possible increase in official price.
“You see one thing with petroleum products once there is misinformation to the public, the effect is such that the consumers, the retailers and people who have no even business with the oil would all come out and converge on it and add pressure to this commodity.How?
“If somebody has three cars in his house and he knows he can fuel his tanks anytime he will just buy 30 or 40 litres.
“Today every Nigerian is buying maximally full tank for all his vehicles thereby distorting real national consumption.
“National consumption has to do with product to be utilized that date, not for you to store 500 litres, 1,000 litres what are you going to do with it? This is one.
“Secondly, where there is also information that government is going to increase pump price, and also the middlemen come in to buy this product and stock it elsewhere, and this is outside the capacity of the NNPC.
“So these are the situations bedeviling this country,’’ he further explained.
The chairman also attributed the persistent scarcity to the habit of some citizens unnecessarily filing every available container with petrol for `fear of the unknown’.
According to him, the NNPC has been injecting about 50million litres of petrol daily as against the actual national consumption of between 29 to 35 million litres daily.
He said: “The whole Nigerians are responsible for these chaotic situations because as of today I know that if (we have) our national consumption is peaked at between 29 to 35million per day but NNPC is injecting a cargo daily that is averagely about 49 to 50million litres.
“Where are these products? Who is consuming them?
“So, it would take some time for these products to saturate all these empty legal and illegal tanks before these queues will be totally eliminated.
“So, wherever you see queues are resurfacing is as a result of panic buying and the new middlemen who not licensed to deal with this problem will also come in and buy off these products and hoard them for profiteering.
“But I know with my experience in this industry there is limit to which they can stop it.
“I’m sure with all these efforts on ground very soon all these empty tanks would be filled up and they will have no choice but to bring them out or there will be no where to stock again as NNPC is injecting these products as they are collaborating with critical stakeholders like IPMAN.’’
He, therefore, reassured Nigerians that IPMAN in collaboration with other stakeholders would soon restore normalcy in the supply chain of the petroleum products, saying fuel queues would be eliminated completely.
“Now all these filling stations would be filled up and we will come out of this situation, it will not take time with the way things are going now I’m assuring you.
“I’m assuring Nigerians this situation would not linger anymore.’’
He revealed that about 20 members of the IPMAN had so far been sanctioned for various petrol related offences, saying the organisation’s internal monitoring unit had been made more effective to ensure efficient monitoring of delivery of products at rightful retail outlets.
“I want to say expressly clear that marketers’ internal monitoring team is more effective than any other monitoring team because in our own case if we are given certain volume to take to retail outlets we know which terminal that product will be kept as directed by the MD, PPMC.
“We also know which marketers are taking these products to what destination; which state.
“So, we monitor the delivery of these products right from the depots to the retail outlets.”
On the exorbitant prices of petroleum products in the North Eastern parts of the country, particularly in Borno, Mr Abdulkadir identified security challenges as factors responsible for the hike in the prices of the commodities.
According to him, in spite the improvement in security situations marketers are still avoiding sending their trucks to the region.
“But the challenge here in case of places like Maiduguri as being mentioned, this is a state that has security challenges.
“The challenges there are even beyond petroleum products. How many marketers, how many truckers are even willing to go there. This is the question.
“So, it is not about somebody diverting but it is about security challenges.
“Except the people who are indigenes of that location are volunteering to take products there because even the indigenes they know their routes they have to calculate their risks before they do that.’’