Contrary to NNPC’s assurances that it has sufficient strategic reserves of Premium Motor spirits (petrol) for a period of 34 days, different facts from a major industry stakeholder have emerged to the contrary.
Mr. Olumide Adeosun, Chairman, Major Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) in a virtual press conference held on Wednesday, June 23, said that the current scarcity spreading across the country is caused by the inability of the NNPC to make available the product for distribution.
According to him, the current scarcity of petrol is occasioned by the supply inadequacy in the last few weeks and continuous surge in the international prices of Automotive Gas Oil (diesel).
Giving an analysis of the supply trend within the last three months to its members, Adeosun said MOMAN members in May received 438,300 Metric Tonnes of PMS at Apapa Jetty, while in May the volume dropped by half to about 213,100 MT and 140,000MT in June excluding about 64,000MT that it is about to receive as at Wednesday June 22.
He further said that there is definitely supply distortion, adding that the market can only balance if Petroleum Products Marketing Company(PPMC) increases its supply to the Apapa Jetty. He also noted that the marketers need consistent back to back supply of the product to be able to ease out the scarcity at the retail end.
He said, “MOMAN members are working with NNPC, PPMC , Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) and other industry stakeholders to make the product (petrol) available at the pumps and eliminate the queues as quickly as possible.
“MOMAN, as an Association, fears that the current supply framework cannot guarantee steady and consistent supplies to the country given the current state of Government finances and unpredictable international supply shortages.
“We therefore, recommend a gradual price deregulation with targeted palliatives (eg. transport and agricultural subsidies) to the public to ease implementation, in the interim,” the MOMAN Chairman.
Adeosun however urged the NNPC/PPMC to deregulate the importation of product, adding that the current single supplier strategy adopted by the Corporation be reviewed.
He further urged the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Ministry of Finance and other relevant Ministries, Department and agencies(MDAs) to set up a taskforce to immediately focus on increasing diesel supply through accelerated initiatives to increase local modular refining capacity. This according to him will tackle the supply and distribution challenges.
The association also suggested phased rehabilitation of existing NNPC refineries to hasten supply of middle distillates (AGO & ATK).
He said, “MOMAN recognizes and is closely associated with the need to ease challenges with respect to high energy and transportation costs occasioned by extraneous circumstances.
The MOMAN Chairman however promised the commitment of the association to continually discharging its responsibility of distributing petrol to its customers across the country.
He said that the marketers will keep exploring opportunities to partner with industry stakeholders, Authority, and the Government to ensure the sustainability and institutionalization of a viable petroleum downstream sector in Nigeria.
Adeosun further suggested that the full deregulation of the petroleum downstream sector and full implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021 clearly remain the most viable long-term solution to the country’s supply and distribution challenges.