Fuel Scarcity May Persist  IPMAN

The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria has warned that the scarcity of petrol, which started since December 2017 may linger if not taken by the authorities to address the problem.

The Chairman, IPMAN, Western Zone, Mr. Debo Ahmed, who gave this reports also said the NNPC had no holding capacity to meet thedemands of the nation.

Ahmed, whose zone covers Oyo, Osun, Lagos, Kwara, Ondo and Ekiti states, spoke during a media briefing in Ilorin, Kwara State, noting that the NNPC had been the sole importer of petrol, a situation he described as a  non healthy monopoly.

This, he said, was destroying the nation’s economy.

He said that fuel scarcity would only abate if the NNPC could massively import the PMS and distribute with IPMAN, Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria and the NNPC to all retail outlets or the corporation’s mega stations.

He suggested that 40 per cent should be allocated to IPMAN; MOMAN, 30 per cent; and the remaining 30 per cent to the NNPC (mega stations).

He appealed to the concerned authorities to make all depots functional to aid easy distribution of the product, adding that the NNPC should massively import petrol to address the scarcity in many parts of the country.

He said, “The fuel scarcity will definitely continue; there is no product in the system. The NNPC has no capacity to do the job they are doing now, that is importing petroleum products. Because of subsidy, they disallowed marketers from importing and as such the importation cannot meet the demand.

“The GMD of the NNPC said marketers were supposed to sell petrol at N145 per litre but where is the product to sell at N145? The product is not there. The little they have, the distribution system, which they are using now, has actually derailed the whole system of distribution in the country.

“They (NNPC) import 100 per cent; they will distribute 100 per cent; they will start selling at 50 per cent.  According to them, they import the whole petrol we need in this country; they will now distribute it to both private and government depots that are working. They have their mega stations. Out of this allocation, they will give them 50 per cent and their mega stations all over the country are less than 700.”

According to him, IPMAN with 80 per cent of market share was allocated only 30 per cent of the imported fuel, adding that MOMAN with 16.5 per cent market share was allocated 20 per cent of the product.

Ahmed said, “With this distribution pattern, the NNPC/Petroleum Product Marketing Company is strangulating IPMAN members.”


Fuel Scarcity Persists As Interest Rate Cut Drags

Nigeria’s Hope for first rate cut since 2015 diminished as fuel higher price cost in  January countered a fall in food prices and kept inflation well outside the Central Bank of Nigeria’s target.

The consumer-inflation rate of the nation fell for a 12th straight month in January, reaching 15.1 per cent as food-price growth decelerated, the National Bureau of Statistics reported on Wednesday in an emailed report

While that matched the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey, it’s far outside the target band of six per cent to nine per cent.

The CBN has kept the key rate at a record-high of 14 per cent since July 2016, trying to balance attempts to bring down inflation with boosting the economy.

The Federal Government is looking at lower borrowing costs and increased public spending to spur activity and help the economy recover fully.

The pump prices of fuel surged by 28 per cent to N191 ($0.53) a litre (0.3 gallon) in January from a year earlier, the NBS said.

Its data include unofficial prices that were above the government’s current cap of N145 a litre. Despite pumping 1.8 million barrels a day of crude, Nigeria has to import almost all its fuel because of the decrepit state of the refineries.

“If the fuel issue is not contained in the next two to three months, we might see the inflation rate beginning to rise again,” Ogho Okiti, the chief executive officer of Abuja-based Time Economics Limited, said.

“Outside Abuja and Lagos, fuel is much higher than the official cap. Price increases for fuel feed into transport, and price increases in transport feed into everything else.”

It’s not yet certain though if the Monetary Policy Committee will hold a scheduled meeting in March, after it failed to meet in January because it lacked of quorum.

The National Assembly refused to confirm new members to the MPC amid a political rift between them and President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

Meanwhile, the naira closed flat at 363 per United States dollar at the parallel market on Wednesday.

The local unit has been closing at 363/dollar in the past one week.

The CBN sold N176bn ($576m) worth of treasury bills at an auction on Wednesday, traders said.

The CBN offered N6bn of three-month paper, N30bn of six-month bills and N140bn of one-year notes, Reuters reported.

NNPC Unveil Plans To End Fuel Scarcity

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said it will take delivery of two cargoes of petrol per day for the rest of February to boost supply and eradicate queues.

A statement by the NNPC Spokesman, Ndu Ughamadu, on Thursday stated that two cargoes of 50 million litres each, making a total of 100 million litres, would be brought-in per day in February to replenish strategic reserves.

The statement follows month of severe petrol scarcity across the country.

The government has failed to resolve the crisis despite repeated promise.

“To enhance supply, 45 million litres of petrol was discharged from ships into jetties across the country yesterday.

“Prior to the fresh 45 million litres discharged, we have 324 million litres of petrol on land and 432 million litres in marine storage making a total of 756 million litres,” the NNPC spokesman said.

“These are enough to last for 22 days at 35 million daily consumption rate,’’ he said.

Mr. Ughamadu said the jetties that received the 45 million litres shipments include Nacj, Apapa; Bop, Apapa; Techo Jetty, Lagos; Dutchess, Oghara; Vine Jetty, Calabar; Chipet Jetty, Lagos; and ECM Jetty, Calabar.

“To ensure efficient distribution of the product to depots in the hinterland, the Nigerian Pipeline and Storage Company (NPSC), a midstream subsidiary of the NNPC, has been mandated to fix relevant pipelines to facilitate seamless pumping.

“This is in addition to massive trucking arrangement that is in place,’’ he said.

Ughamadu gave the assurance of the Corporation that with the measures in place, the fuel queues being experienced in some cities would soon be a thing of the past.” (NAN)

Fuel Scarcity Rocks Abuja Harder..Marketers Arrested

There seems to have no definite solution to the unending queue for petrol in Abuja and neighbouring states of Kaduna, Niger and Nasarawa, as the situation bemoans.

Petrol using vehicles and other users have been a regular sight in the Federal Capital Territory and neighbouring states since the end of the fourth quarter of last year.

Many independent stations wereshut down due to lack of  of petrol and the few major oil marketers and mega filling stations belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation that dispensed the commodity had to contend with long queues of desperate motorists.

Despite the many complaints by petrol users and several reports by the media, the situation has failed to improve, as motorists who wish to purchase PMS from filling stations now factor in the hours they will spend in queues as they plan their daily schedule.

Many residents of the FCT and neighbouring states believe that the government and the oil firm, the NNPC, may have run out of ideas on how to handle the situation.

“It is obvious that the Federal Government and the NNPC are currently bereft of ideas on how to handle the scarcity of petrol that we see in many parts of Nigeria and this is so unfortunate,” an angry motorist in one of the queues at the NNPC mega station along Kubwa-Zuba Expressway, Sumaila Khadijah, said.

The NNPC, however, announced on Wednesday that it had stepped up the arrest and prosecution of errant marketers and fuel hawkers across the country.

The corporation said its special task force on filling stations’ monitoring had made a series of arrests, including two filling station managers, who diverted 66,000 litres of petrol, and six illegal hawkers of the product in Abuja.

It stated that the managers of Azman filling stations in Nyanya and Kuje, suburbs of Abuja, were arrested after close monitoring by the team for diverting trucks of petrol meant for their stations to unknown destinations.

The corporation’s spokesperson, Ndu Ughamadu, said in a statement that the culprits had been handed over to the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps for prosecution.

He stated, “In addition to prosecution, the filling stations would pay N250 fine for each litre of petrol diverted.”

Senate Gives NNPC Seven Day Ultimatum To End Scarcity

The Senate yesterday gave the Nigeria, National Petroleum Corporation NNPC a seven day ultimatum to end the long queues in fuel stations across the country.

The Chairman of the Committee, Senator Kabiru Marafa, told the Senate in plenary that the joint committee recommended that NNPC be issued a seven day ultimatum to ensure the disappearance of queues from fuel stations across the country.

The Zamfara Central lawmaker underscored the need for security agencies to ensure effective boarder patrol to check diversion of petroleum products to neighbouring African countries.

He noted that the report also recommended that the Department for Petroleum Resources (DPR) should double its efforts to enforce compliance with the government regulated pump price.

Marafa said, “During the recess, the committee moved around some cities including Abuja and Lagos to ascertain the situation on ground. When we think that we are making progress, we just realised that the queues were resurfacing at the stations.

“We also engaged with the NNPC and other stakeholders and we were informed that there were challenges of supply coupled with massive smuggling of petroleum products to neighbouring countries for higher prices. Also there is the problem of marketers selling above approved pump price.”

Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki, urged management of NNPC to ensure compliance with the resolution and ensure the disappearance of long queues within the next seven days.


New vessels Arrive Apapa As Perol Scarcity Continues

As vehicle owners  and other users of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) struggled to get the product at filling stations in Lagos, Ogun, Kaduna and Nasarawa states as well as the Federal Capital Territory on Monday, it was gathered that new vessels conveying the product arrived Apapa in Lagos.

Few stations that had the product recorded long queues of desperate motorists that stretched for kilometres and spilled onto the roads, thereby distorting the flow of traffic while many stations were shut down in the state.

Most stations that sold on Monday sold above the N145 official pump price.

The queues persisted on Monday right in front of the Abuja headquarters of the NNPC, as well as in other locations within the FCT.

In Nasarawa, Niger and Kaduna states, the queues persisted, although the situation improved slightly in some locations in Abuja and neighbouring states on Monday.

Motorists lamented that they had to spend hours in queues for petrol, while some petrol seekers with jerry cans were seen complaining that they had to part with extra money to get the product.

Our correspondents gathered some of the private depots in Apapa, where many marketers get petroleum products from for distribution to other states, did not have petrol to load.

Long queues of desperate motorists and other users of the PMS returned to many filling stations in Lagos and Ogun states on Saturday and Sunday after a brief relief from the severe scarcity of the product that rocked the country from December to early this month.

The Executive Secretary, Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association, Mr. Olufemi Adewole, said, “We have not been given what we want and we are still depending on the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to give us the product.

“We have made contact with both the PPMC and the NNPC through the managing director of the PPMC and chief operating officer/group executive director, NNPC Downstream. Both have noted our complaint that we are not getting enough and they promised to work on it to ensure that it is addressed this week.

A top official of a Lagos-based oil marketing company told one of our correspondents on condition of anonymity that the supply situation got a bit better on Monday, adding that his organisation’s depot loaded massively to boost supply.

He stated tjat two vessels had arrived Apapa and one of them started discharging on Sunday, with Aiteo and Nipco receiving petrol from it.

“There is another vessel with not less than 25 million metric tonnes of petrol and is ready to start discharging. I met the vessel this morning; so it must have arrived over the weekend,” he added.

The Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, NNPC, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, insisted on Monday that the supply and distribution would normalise soon, adding that more trucks were being loaded.

“Once you have disruption in supply, it will take some hours to normalise. MOMAN members are cooperating. We have new vessels discharging the product,” he stated.

On Sunday, the NNPC said a technical hitch in ships berthing and discharging at the weekend, which had been rectified, was responsible for the disruption in supply.



Ogun, Lagos Face Fuel Scarcity…NNPC Blames Problem On Vessels Berthing

Lagos and Ogun states witnessed a serious turn out of desperate motorist and other users of petrol in many fuel stations on Saturday and Sunday following a brief relief from the serious scarcity that affected the country by December to the early week of January 2017.


On Sunday many fuel stations were closed down in both states and many stations dispensing sold above the regulated price of N145 per litre.


Filling stations sold at ridiculous amount between 160 and 180 especially in places like Ikotun, Ejigbo, Isolo, Idimu, Igando and Akute in Lagos, while motorcycle riders and other petrol users with purchased at a price of N200 from petrol attendants of other fuel stations that dispensed.


Black market operators were having a field day as they sold the product for as much as N250 per litre on Sunday.


On the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, outbound Lagos, the queues of motorists at some of the few stations that sold the product spilled onto the road, disrupting the flow of traffic.


The Executive Secretary, Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association, Mr. Olufemi Adewole, in a telephone interview with our correspondent on Sunday, noted that the queues had been eliminated to a great extent before now.


He stated, “Definitely, if marketers have fuel, there won’t be queues. It simply means there is insufficient supply, and the NNPC still remains the supplier of last resort. So whatever they give to marketers, that is what marketers will dispense to the public.


“If you go to some DAPPMA stations now, you will see the tankers of major marketers dispensing there because the NNPC has not given us enough products for the last 10 days. Many of our people did not get products, and in order to keep their stations busy, they resorted to buying from MOMAN (Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria) members.”


Adewole said there was no way DAPPMA members could get enough supply from major marketers because they were supposed to be getting from the same source and not to buy from MOMAN.


The National Controller, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Mr. Mike Osatuyi, said the Federal Government’s policy of supplying directly to independent marketers, which he described as a welcome development, had not taken off.


“When it takes off, IPMAN members will no more complain about buying at unofficial prices. This policy will enable IPMAN to identify our members who have good stations and can sell at the official price,” he stated.


The Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, told our correspondent on Sunday that Lagos and its environs were being supplied with products mainly by MOMAN members, “because we have absolute confidence in their activities.”


“At the weekend, there was a technical hitch in ships berthing and discharging. But this has been rectified. So, today (Sunday) alone, 250 trucks have been pumped into Lagos compared with when we had the hitch and we supplied below 200 trucks. So, normalcy will return in a matter of hours in Lagos,” he said.


On the proposed direct supply to independent marketers, Ughamadu stated, “We are having an issue with independent marketers; they have three factions and each faction with a president; and if you were to be in the position of the NNPC, how do you solve this issue? You allocate to one faction, the other factions protest. We have told them to go and resolve their issue so that we can start allocating products to them directly.”


He said the NNPC was still supplying products to DAPPMA members.

BACK PAGE: Frittering Away The Last Breath

Frittering Away The Last Breath

In the past so many weeks, there has been fuel scarcity and much has been said about increasing fuel price or re-introducing fuel subsidy as remedy.

Somehow, we fail to look beyond the queues that start at the end of November and trail till February, nearly every year. Is it not coincidental that these queues occur when there is an increase in energy consumption in the Western world?

In a barrel, there are about 159 litres. Now, if crude is selling for about $61.73 per barrel, it translates to N21, 605.5 at an exchange rate of N350 to the dollar that the man on the street has accepted as the dollar rate. Presently, petrol is selling for N145 per litre.

This means that every time a Nigerian buys 159 litres or the equivalent of a barrel, he is actually paying N23, 055.00 or $65.87 per barrel for petrol only. That means each Nigerian petrol consumer losses $4.14 or N1, 449.00 on the sale done on his behalf by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.

Imagine the number of cars on Nigerian roads and the number of times such vehicle owners buy 159 litres and lose money on a common wealth. This does not include the loss on all the other products associated with refining crude that are further gain to the crude buyers, because we are not refining. Meanwhile this colossal loss is continuous.

This automatically means that Nigerians actually subsidise energy consumption of the Western world, especially during the winter months when the cost of energy is very high. On top of this, they then add the landing charges, which again, is money that goes out of Nigeria!

How our leaders will watch this rape, even collude with foreigners and form themselves into cabals to continuously milk Nigerians is still baffling.

Businessmen from the western hemisphere have always taken care of themselves and protected their various countries at the expense of Africans. Now, they have been joined by Asians and yet, forever, the black man, because of his idolization of the white skin, continues to throw away everything that God has given him, be it Agricultural produce or fuel.

Beyond fuelling generators that have been forcefully foisted on us and vehicles, what else do we actually use petrol for? Are we not supposed to sell for profit and benefit the populace with the proceeds?

Unfortunately, those who desperately need the fuel at the time when the chilly winds are biting, employ the same cunning that they applied in introducing mirrors and other nonsensical objects as valuables and continue to use abracadabra to take everything for free. Rather than gain as should be expected, we are held in perpetual economic slavery.

The whole of 2017, Nigerians were hopeful that the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) would be passed, but, till date, it has not seen the light of day. Every time government subsidises fuel used by Nigerians in any way, it is obvious that the money is actually subsidizing energy consumption in another country!

No wonder our refineries will never function! No wonder there will be a postponement of the time when private refineries can function in Nigeria. No wonder the Oil sector will never be fully deregulated.

The ominous times are here because Nigeria is at the injury time of the Oil sale game. The very western countries, seeing what the Middle East is doing with their oil money, are working assiduously to put vehicles that will use every other form of energy apart from petrol on roads.

When these vehicles are ready, Nigerians will be forced to buy them since we do not make any, petrol engine or otherwise! We will have to go cap in hand to beg for our remaining oil to be bought.

Meanwhile, we are looking on as our gas is being wasted. Since there is still need for oil now, nothing tangible will happen until the West is ready to tell us what to do.

The patriotism of the Western businessmen is enviable and needs to be commended. How come our own leaders go to the negotiating table ready to give concessions that are equivalent to throwing away the common wealth, especially if there are enough crumbs to cater for stomach infrastructure?

When will our leaders add “for Country” too when negotiating, so that both sides benefit equally? The white man is forever concerned about what will happen to him and the next generation while we are forever searching for maximum enjoyment for ourselves while our next generation can go to blazes.
Going spiritual, the suggestion will be that every black man goes for deliverance from the spirit of greed that makes us kobo wise and Naira foolish.

NNPC To Nigerians: Days Of Fuel Scarcity Are Over

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation on Tuesday assured Nigerians that there would no longer be fuel scarcity in the country.

The Group Managing Director of the corporation, Dr Maikanti Baru, said this in Abuja at the 2018/2019 crude oil term contract bid opening.

According to him, the opening of bids is an indication of President Muhammadu Buhari’s drive for transparency and accountability in the conduct of government business.

He condemned the recent fuel shortage, which lasted a month, describing the corporation’s downstream counterparts as ‘unpatriotic’.

Baru warned those that would be selected after the bid against indulging in sharp practices.

“I am happy that this problem has been dealt with and the few pockets of non-compliance have been tackled.

“It was unfortunate that due to the behaviour of a few bad eggs, the Christmas was a pain. We hope you will never be part of this incident and we also hope this type of thing never happens in the future.

“NNPC is determined that this year there will be no fuel shortage. Definitely, we have seen the last of it,’’ Baru said.

He said NNPC’s focus was to enhance production volume while ensuring that the “best value is realised through competitive marketing of our crude grades to international refineries and graders’’.

“In line with this aspiration, NNPC is collaborating with key stakeholders to improve the overall security of our production sites, crude export lines and other critical oil and gas infrastructure’’.

He urged the bidders not to patronise fraudsters who promise off-takers selection assistance.

Speaking with newsmen shortly after the bid ceremony, Baru said the evaluation would take three to four weeks, adding that 16 per cent of the crude was going to North America.

Also speaking, the Group General Manager, Crude Oil Marketing Division, Mr Mele Kyari, said “there would be no lobbying in lifting programmes’’.

“It is fully automated. The customer knows where and when they get their lifting and this is unparalleled.’’

Kyari said part of the procedure was that the companies selected must have a net worth of about $250m, turnover of $500m, letter of credit and years of experience.

254 companies are bidding for the off-take of Nigerian crude grades as against 224 in 2017.

This round is the third call for bids under the present administration. (NAN)

DPR Seals 6 Filling Stations in Rivers, 7 in Oyo

Backing up words with actions as broadcasted by The Department of Petroleum Resources. DPR, yesterday sealed six filling stations in Rivers State for diversion and hoarding of petroleum products, even as DPR disclosed that over 35 stations have received Premium Motor Spirit, PMS.

The DPR team which was accompanied in the operation by operatives of Department of Security Service, DSS, and Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps, NSCDC, also issued Notice of Penalty to Conoil filling station on Ikwoku Junction for under dispensing and hoarding of product. Chinda Petroleum Limited, Jet Super Kiosk, Tonnino, Biddel, Restopark and MRS were shut for hoarding and selling a liter of petrol at N230.

This is just as the team forced Restopark, along Odili road, to dispense fuel to motorists that were present, before sealing off the premises for selling above the government approved pump price. The Port Harcourt Zonal Controller, Ibani Frank-Briggs, who spoke to newsmen on the development expressed concerned that filling stations decided to inflict pains on Nigerians this yuletide. Frank-Briggs confirmed that over 35 filling stations in the state on Thursday received petrol product yesterday, assuring residents of the state that DPR would not relent in its efforts to ensuring that the right thing was done in the petroleum industry. The DPR Zonal Controller maintained that the nation had enough petrol and that the price remained the same as approved just as he accused the petroleum marketers of not being fair to members of the public.

It has also been discovered that seven filling stations have been shut down in Oyo State.

Military Launches Operation Jagunlabi to Fight Vandalism, Crude Oil Theft in Lagos

The joint taskforce (JTF) comprising of the Nigeria Navy, Air Force and Army, on thursday launched Operation Jagunlabi, a show of force, on the Lagos backwaters to combat the increasing menace of pipeline vandalism and crude oil theft.

The exercise, which is an offshoot of the ongoing Operation AWATSE (an Hausa word for scatter), was kicked off to further solidify the gains of the JTF in battling vandalism and crude oil theft in Lagos creeks and backwaters.

The exercise, which was kicked off by the Flag Officer Commanding, Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Slyvanus Abbah, at the naval outpost in Majidun area of Ikorodu, saw the JTF patrol both the waters and the land around that area.

Abbah was joined by the Air Officer Commanding, Logistics Command, Air Vice Marshal Ibrahim Yahaya; the General Officer Commanding, Major General Peter Dauke and the Commander, NNS Beecroft, Rear Admiral Maurice Eno.

The maritime operation kicked off from Majidun creek and saw the apenal gunboats patrol to Ebute waterside, Ibeshe ferry jetty and moved to Oworonsoki jetty before heading back to the base.

For the patrol route for the show of force, the ground forces also took off from Majidun and stormed the Ikorodu garage roundabout, Ibeshe junction, Ibeshe Ilaje, Imota, Ishawo and rendezvoused back at the naval outpost.

Not ruling out aerial bombardment by the AirForce if need be, the FOC said the joint patrol means the three arms of services will pull resources and manpower together to tackle the menace of pipeline vandalism and crude oil theft.

Harping on the importance of intelligence gathering, Abbah who addressed the troops before the exercise began said they are to mix up with civilians in order to get them to loosen up.

He said, “Operation AWATSE has been an on- going operation and if you are in Lagos I think this is the most peaceful festive period you have ever had in Lagos.

“We have been working tirelessly before now. Before now, you know the criminals have been carrying out their nefarious act at the high sea; which is sea robbery.”