The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has hinted at the possibility of a scarcity of fuel following a disruption in the petroleum distribution chain across filling stations in the country.
According to the National Operations Controller of IPMAN, Mr. Mike Osatuyi, “the situation has been fragile since the NNPC assumed the role of the sole importer of petrol. There is supply gap…now, since the NNPC imports 78 percent of the petrol needs of the country, with other marketers sharing the remaining 22 percent.”
The scarcity of foreign exchange, has also impeded the efforts of major marketers to import petroleum products as expected. Of the five major marketers, only Mobil Oil and Total have been able to import petroleum products because of their foreign affiliations. Other major oil marketers find it difficult to source for the dollar at over N390 to $1, to import petroleum products, leading to an imbalance in the expected products to be distributed across the nation.
To make matters worse, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has now shut down the Warri refinery owing to shortage in crude supply. It has barely been a month since the Port Harcourt and Kaduna refineries were shut down as a result of militant attacks, which implies Nigeria can boast of just one refinery working presently.
Prior to the closure of these refineries, the Port Harcourt refinery was recording a daily production of over 4.1 million litres, the Kaduna refinery was posting a daily petrol production of about 1.3 million litres while the Warri refinery had been posting a daily production of about 1.5 million litres since it was refurbished. The closure of these refineries implies a fuel scarcity is inevitable.
It has been reported that queues have started building up in major states across the nation while most filling stations in the city have been shut down. The few stations still selling have adjusted their pump prices above the stipulated price approved by the government.