Fuel Crisis: We don’t have 1.6bn litres of product – IPMAN

Says fuel queue may fizzle out in 14 days

From Sola Ojo, Kaduna

The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) on Wednesday disagreed with the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) over its claim that it has over 1.6 billion litres of petrol in stock for distribution nationwide.

NNPCL Group Managing Director Mr Mele Kyari, who spoke through the Chief Executive Officer Downstream, NNPCL Tower, Mr Adeyemi Adetunji, at the unveiling of the Association of Distributors and Transporters of Petroleum Products in Abuja a few days ago, said with 1.6 billion litres volume of petrol in stock, there was no reason for queues at the fuel stations.

Reacting to this NNPCL claim while featuring on a national television breakfast show monitored in Kaduna, National Controller, Operations, IPMAN, Mike Osatuyi, queried the whereabouts of the claim.

“1.6 billion litres can be on the high sea or dry sea. But, we don’t have it. If we have it, will the whole country be this dry? They know where the product is”, he said.

Osatuyi also assured Nigerians that if things work according to the efforts of a 14-man committee set up by President Mohammadu Buhari to look at the lingering fuel crisis where he is a chairman, the fuel may be available at official pump price nationwide in the next 14 days.

He accused the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) as a key contributor to the ongoing inflated pump price of petrol based on what it charges IPMAN members at the point of loading the product.

“We are not a part of that committee. At the same time, there is no how they can work without the input of us the operators because we have the information and I believe by the time the committee begins work, all stakeholders will be involved.

“Yesterday (Tuesday) there was a meeting and my president was there and fed me back. Sincerely, because of that presidential committee that was put up, NNPC is ready to solve this problem because it is its fault.

“They have agreed to open up about three or four more depots for IPMAN to be loading through its platform which is what we have been clamouring for, for years.

“Secondly, EMADEB Energy depot has also approached IPMAN that it is ready to sell at the official pump price within the next two weeks if it gets the product. Based on that meeting, all depots have been directed to sell at the official price and IPMAN will sell at the official price.

“From what I have gathered, they have given those that are concerned 14 days to clean up the mess because whatever they may have in stock may have come at a higher price. But for them to have opened up and come to us, means Nigerians will be able to buy at a reasonable price.

“If they sell to us at N180 for example, I have to add transport cost depending on NUPENG and a gain margin of about N10 which means it may cost between N200 and N220 which is better than what we have now.

“The problem is not PENGASSAN but NUPENG are charging us higher which you must pay even before your truck is allowed to enter to load fuel.

“I also learned that NUPENG is threatening picketing. Picketing who when you are a beneficiary. I think PENGASSAN is not involved in this crisis but NUPENG is involved.

“We are not hoarding. Like my station, for example, I don’t have the product. If I have the product I will like to turn it over within two or three days to go and bring another one for sale because we are paying bank loans.”

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