Why Fuel Scarcity Lingers In Niger | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Why Fuel Scarcity Lingers In Niger

Posted: Nov 12, 2015 at 12:28 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Chinwendu Nnadozie, Minna

The fuel scarcity in parts of Niger State is far from being over as the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has accused the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) of forcing its members to close shops thereby causing scarcity of the commodities.

Recall that recent closure of some petrol stations owned by independent marketers for selling fuel above N100 to the public made has taken its toll on not only the association but directly to members whose businesses are currently shutdown.

Erena told journalists in Minna that the continued clampdown on independent marketers would increase the hardship of consumers who are daily faced with the realities of long queues at few major filling stations in Minna dispensing petroleum products.

NAN reports that the measure has brought hardship to motorists and other users of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) as scarcity of the product and long queues re-emerged in Minna.

IPMAN is buying petroleum products from a private depot in Lagos at non-regulated prices of N87 and N95 per litre and no businessman will buy products at higher rate and sell at lower rate because that would amount selling at a loss, Erena explained.

According to him, “Our members will buy fuel at N87 and N95 per litre and you expect them not to make gain out of it after they transported the product from Lagos to Minna”, the IPMAN chairman further explained.

To end the fuel scarcity occasioned by the face-off between IPMAN and DPR, the association’s state chairman said that they had written a letter to the DPR over the sale of PMS to members at non-regulated prices and the need to be allowed to continue in business but no positive response.

Adamu Erena accused the DPR of collaborating with private depot owners to increase the price of PMS. “At the depots they force you to fill a coupon that you bought the fuel at regulated price of N77. 66 before they load your tankers.

“If you don’t agree to fill the coupon in that way they will not load your tanker”, Erena said.

He called on the DPR to monitor the activities of the private depots in the country towards making fuel available and affordable as a way of ending the fuel scarcity.

Meanwhile, the DPR controller in Niger State, Alhaji Abdullahi Jankara, while reacting to the allegations, said that the Minna office of the DPR has not received any such letter or any directive from the Headquarters to that effect.

Jankara said that the independent marketers were expected to purchase PMS at government regulated price of N77.66 per litre at the depots and sell at N87 to motorists, alleging that members of the association have not adhered to the rules and regulations regarding filling their coupons while purchasing products.

The Controller of DPR however cautioned the marketers against shutting their filling stations thereby causing artificial scarcity by way of hoarding of products, adding that their actions attract penalty ranging from sealing of the station to payment of undisclosed sum as fine and as well, revocation of license.