As scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly called petrol showed no visible sign of disappearance in Lagos, Ogun, Ibadan, Abuja and other parts of the country, due to massive disruption within the supply value chain, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has directed its members in Lagos to dispense petrol at any rate around N180 per litre, insisting that N165/l, which is the government-approved pump dispensing price, is not sustainable.
EnergyDay’s correspondent who monitored the situation on Monday noted that the lingering scarcity has started affecting commercial activities in Lagos as transporters are beginning to take advantage of the situation to hike their fare. Most filling stations across Lagos Island and Mainland witnessed long queues while majority suspected to be members of Independent marketers were shut.
Mr Akin Akinrinade, Chairman, IPMAN, Lagos Satellite Depot, Ejigbo, made this known during a press conference on Monday, in Lagos. According to him, the members took the decision because they could no longer operate at a loss.
The main reason according to Akinrinmade was that private depot owners have increased the ex-depot price of PMS from N148.17 to N162 per litre.
He noted that IPMAN members had made payments of over N1 billion since October 2021, with the defunct Pipelines and Product Marketing Company (PPMC) for the supply.
He said the products were yet to be delivered forcing members to patronise private depots for products while at the same time servicing loans borrowed from banks for their money with PPMC.
The IPMAN Chairman said while the government had fixed N165 per litre as the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), the current realities in the market showed that the minimum the product should be retailed at the stations should be N180.
Speaking on the resurgence of fuel scarcity and queues in Lagos, Akinrinmade revealed that the crisis resurfaced because the majority of petrol stations in the state are owned by IPMAN members who are finding it difficult to operate in a hostile environment created by the Government’s agency.
He said, “As you can see, the queues are back and this is the second time we are witnessing it this year.
“However, this one is peculiar in the sense that for a particular reason, IPMAN members decided to shut their stations.
“This is not because we are on strike, but because we can no longer do business under this condition.”
Akinrinade said, “Now, these private depot owners have increased the ex-depot price of PMS from N148.17 to N162 per litre. That is the amount they are selling to us.
“When you factor in the handling charge, transportation and running cost of our stations, you will see that even within Lagos, the minimum we can retail petrol is about N180 per litre.
“We want Nigerians to know that IPMAN members are patriotic citizens and we are not out to sabotage the effort of the government because we know this hike in petroleum products prices is not peculiar to Nigeria.
“The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine has disrupted the supply chain and the Nigerian government is doing its best to mitigate its impact on our nation.”
He, therefore, urged the government to direct the private depots to revert to the old ex-depot price for PMS or deregulate the downstream sector to allow market forces determine the price.
Akinrinade also advised the government to expedite action on the rehabilitation of the nation’s refineries in order to increase the domestic refining capacity.
The IPMAN Chairman however called for the resumption of pumping products through the PPMC Ejigbo depot, which would enable IPMAN members to get supply at a cheaper cost.
Recall that the South-West Zone IPMAN had earlier raised a similar issue, directing its members to dispense petrol at N180/litre.
Alhaji Dele Tajudeen, IPMAN Zonal Chairman, in a statement threatened that the new price would be enforced, if the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, NMDPRA, failed to address the issue of irregular supply of its products to its members.
He explained that members of IPMAN in the zone have not been able to buy fuel products from any of the government depots, and had resorted to getting supplies from private depot owners, who had since January 202 overtime refused to load trucks belonging to its members.
He claimed that the private depot owners’ loading price is about N157 or N158 above the price that government depots would sell to them.
However, Mr Ayorinde Cardoso, NMDPRA Zonal Operations Controller, in a statement insisted that the Authority has sufficient quantity of the product needed to serve the country for more than 90 days.
He said, “There is sufficient fuel at the depots and jetties. As at Monday, June 20, we have a total of 234,920,127 litres of PMS in various depots in Lagos.
“In addition, we have four vessels in Lagos jetties discharging 186,753,650 litres of PMS,” Cardozo said.