Members of the Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association have resumed importation of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) into the country.
This development was confirmed to our correspondent on Thursday by the Executive Secretary, DAPPMA, Mr. Olufemi Adewole, in a telephone interview.
Before now, only the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation through its subsidiary, Pipelines and Product Marketing Company, was the sole importer of PMS into the country.
Adewole confirmed to our correspondent that some of members of the DAPPMA have had their credit lines reopened by the banks.
Adewole said, “The PPMC is not the only importer of PMS as of today. Some of our members just discharged their cargos. Although we have not been paid, we are optimistic that very soon our members will be paid by the government.
“All the banks have yet to open credit lines to our members, but some of our members have obtained one or two additional credit lines to import products from their banks as we speak.”
Our correspondent was able to confirm from some downstream players on Thursday the identity of some of the marketers who had resumed importation of PMS.
One of the stakeholders, who spoke to our correspondent on the condition of anonymity said, “As we speak, it is confirmed that Techno Oil and Gas, Masters Petroleum, Rainoil, Bovas, North-West Petroleum in Calabar, Shorelink in Port Harcourt, Emadek and some others have received cargos.
“We expect to see more of this happen as more banks provide credit lines to our members.”
It was gathered that some marketers were diverting imported petroleum products to neighbouring countries like Ghana, Togo and Cameroun, among others, while starving the Nigerian market, which is currently under-supplied.
Last week, The PUNCH had exclusively reported that some marketers were diverting petroleum products to the neighbouring countries following the government’s indecision on the continuation or otherwise of the subsidy regime.
It was also reported that in the past weeks, most of the products consumed in the country came from neighbouring countries, where the products were originally imported. This, however, was because the PPMC stock could not sustain local demand.
The Vice Chairman, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Western Zone, Mr. Kunle Bamigboye, had confirmed to our correspondent that the current petrol scarcity was as a result of acute shortage in fuel supply to depots, noting that the sole supplier at the moment, the NNPC, had stopped selling petrol in the last one week.
He had lamented that four out of the six depots in the entire Western zone had run out of supply, stressing that the IPMAN members had no choice other than to buy from members of the DAPPMA, who sell at prices far above the official ex-depot price of N78 per litre.
Independent depots owners currently sell petrol at between N95 and N100 per litre as ex-depot price.
Bamigboye added, “The main source of our supply is from the NNPC but most of their depots are not loading, therefore, we have no choice than to buy from the DAPPMA and they sell above the regulated ex-depot price.
“As businessmen, we have to make profits and continue to stay in business. Without our patriotic support, the fuel scarcity would have been worse than this. The IPMAN members now collect one allocation in two months unlike in the past when we were loading our complete allocation for each month.
“We, therefore, appeal to the Department of Petroleum Resources to intervene in the issue of ex-depot price because we are the most helpless in the whole value chain of this business.”
The DPR, which is the regulator of the petroleum industry, had accused the marketers of distorting the status quo in the market, thereby causing fresh scarcity of products in the country, especially petrol.