Outstanding arrears for bridging owed petrol marketers for fuel by Federal Government’s debts to petroleum products marketers in respect of bridging cost for premium motor spirit (PMS) is now in excess of 10 months.
Owing to the accumulated debt, most of the marketers can no longer purchase their tickets to lift petrol from the depots, resulting in the emergence of queues in the filling stations.
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), National Vice President, Alhaji Alhaji Abubakar Maigandi, broke the news to The Nation via a voice note yesterday.
There were traces of scarcity of the PMS in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
While most of the retail outlets from Zuba to Orozo, where our Abuja correspondent monitored the fuel sales, were under lock and key, some smart black marketers were already selling the product in Jerry cans.
Asked why the petrol stations were not dispensing, Maigandi said: ” The reason you are seeing queues is connected with the non payment from Petroleum Equalisation Fund for getting to 10 months now.
“Most of the marketers cannot bridge because they don’t have the money to buy the tickets. This is why you see queues around the petrol stations.”
Maigandi said: “The price has reduced. Some of the places are selling at the rate of N153/litre. Even though it is higher than the official rate it is better that when it was N159/litre.”
At the scrapping of the Petroleum Equalisation Find (PEF), the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, assured the marketers that the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) would take over the debts that the PEF was owing.
Last Friday, The Nation reported that the NMDPRA’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Ahmed Farouk approved the release of 4% of the debt to the marketers.
The approval was sequel to the meeting that the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) held with the Farouk last Thursday, where the National President, Alhaji Yusuf Lawal Othman requested for the payment of outstanding bridging debt.
Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Malam Garba Deen Muhammad said there is enough fuel supply and there is no need for any anxiety over supply chain or storage, assuring Nigerians of adequate supply of fuel.