Oil marketers under the aegis of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria have berated the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited for alleged delay in the supply of petroleum products.
As a result, the marketers said they had been forced to boycott the NNPCL to source fuel from private depot owners at a higher cost.
In an exclusive interview with The PUNCH, the National Vice President of IPMAN, Hammed Fashola, asked the Federal Government to review the current distribution pattern with a view to giving priority to IPMAN members.
According to him, independent marketers own 80 per cent of the filling stations in Nigeria and, as such, deserve the “lion share” in fuel allocation.
Fashola said, “More so, we buy products from NNPCL cash and carry. We don’t enjoy any credit facility with the NNPCL. There are times we pay for products, and you don’t get the products for two or three months. You have your money in the coffers of the NNPCL, which means they are trading with our money.
“If I am not exaggerating, we should be talking of over N300bn, when you consider the number of marketers all over Nigeria. Our money is always there trapped, while we keep struggling to get fuel.
He narrated that marketers usually pay through the NNPCL portal with the hope of getting the product in two three days; but “that two three days will turn into months if they don’t have products or they are out of stock, you have to wait, and your money will be there.”
He lamented that some marketers, who borrowed from banks could not pay back their loans, stating that many operators were being forced to put up their stations for sale “to offset debts because marketers are going through a lot.
He stated further that, “When NNPCL open their portal and you pay in, with the hope of getting your product soon. In the process, there will be delay; maybe you pay for two trucks and you could not get it in three weeks or one month, you cannot leave your station idle. You will be forced to go to private depot and buy, just to wet your station. If the product is flowing, nobody will go to private depot.”
Text except headline courtesy Punch