Energy

Energy crisis: IPMAN blames supply shortage, high operation cost

Abubakar Maigandi, Vice-President, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, (IPMAN), says petroleum products will be available from Wednesday.

The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, has blamed ongoing petrol scarcity across the country on supply shortage and high cost of running their operations.

IPMAN Public Relations Officer, Chief Chinedu Ukadike in chat with newsmen yesterday said most inland depots were dry and had no product from Lagos and other coastal depots.

Chief Ukadike stated that the high cost of freighting the product from the southern depots has also made it impossible for marketers to operate profitably despite the recent N10 per litre rate hike by the government.

According to him, “Depots in Makurdi, Enugu, Mossimi and Owerri cannot access petroleum products because they cannot be pumped. Since our refineries are bad, products are no longer being pumped through the pipelines.

“It cost marketers close to N40 per litre to freight the product to the stations from the South and that is after buying it for N162/litre from the private depot owners. How are you supposed to sell at N165/litre and remain in business?

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“This is why most of our members are not selling. NNPC is the sole importer of the product and unfortunately they are not saying anything, the government is not doing anything”.

He noted the business is profit driven and asked the Federal Government to increase the marketer’s margin in order for them to operate profitably.

The IPMAN spokesman said there are a lot of portfolio marketers who do not have petrol stations but get allocations from the depots which they later sell to marketers who will sell above government approved price.

“The president has added N10 to the freight charge but this does not cover our expenses because everything is driven by the price of diesel. The roads are bad and diesel is very expensive. Now there is heavy dependency on petrol because of the energy problem in the country”.

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He urged the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, NMDPRA, to crackdown on private depot owners who are selling above government approved ex-depot prices.

He also urged the government to hasten the repair of the refineries to end dependency on importation and also to fix the pipelines to reduce the distance trucks have to travel to obtain the products.

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