Oil marketers have accused the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited of politicizing the supply process and making empty promises as the country’s ongoing gasoline shortage persists.
Despite Hubb Stocksman, the managing director of NNPCL Retail, having promised them in December that they would start receiving direct product supply at the government-regulated price of N148 per litre starting this month, the oil marketers operating under the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria claimed they had obtained fuel.
“There hasn’t been any product supply as of now. The dude (Stockman) has been in Nigeria for a while, so he’s definitely outplaying us. He is engaging in political games, and we don’t see the situation improving anytime soon, IPMAN Chairman Akin Akinrinade told reporters.
This was said by an IPMAN officer on Wednesday as fuel lines grew worse.
Akinrinade stated that as of last Friday, marketers were paying between N235 and N240 per litre for products from the depots, claiming that there was no way they would sell anything for less even within the Lagos metropolitan.
He suggested that the Federal Government restart the refineries to enable local production as a potential long-term solution to the fuel shortage.
“Starting up the refineries and starting local refining is the long-term option,” he stated.
In a separate interview, IPMAN’s National Operations Controller, Mike Osatuyi, told reporters that deregulation and the elimination of gasoline subsidies were the solutions to the fuel scarcity problem.
“Deregulation and the abolition of subsidies are the long-term solutions. Allow for a free market where vendors other than the NNPC are permitted to sell their wares. We have to cope till then, but let’s wait and see because the government announced the subsidy will be abolished in June,” he told newsmen over the phone.