Gas shortage: Long lines persist despite FG’s promises

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Most gas stations in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, were closed yesterday, and just a small number of stores run by big marketers were available to drivers, even though the federal government had promised a week ago that the persistent gasoline shortages will lessen.

Stations run by Conoil, TotalEnergies, and NNPC Retail in the city’s Central Area had long lines, but the majority of stations run by independent marketers were closed.

Nevertheless, outside of the city center, stations run by independent marketers were opened, and the majority of them dispensed at a rate of N870 per litre, while stations run by large marketers sold it for N680 per litre.

The following gas stations in Lagos were reported to have closed their doors due to a scarcity of product:

Badagry road, Orile, Festac, Amuwo, and Ajegunle (Vanguard). On the other hand, those that did sell the product saw a price range of N700 to N1,000 per liter.

Last Friday, NNPC Limited reassured customers that the problems with the gasoline supply had been fixed.

The chief executive officer of the Major Energy Marketers Association of Nigeria (MEMAN), Mr. Clement Isong, said that the stations run by these companies are able to keep dispensing fuel despite the interruptions by stating that they work together, sometimes exchanging products, to keep their stations stocked.

The benefit we have is that we can pool our resources in Apapa, a fantastic platform on which to collaborate, as Isong wrote in a letter to Vanguard.

It is known as the Apapa hub. Since every one of our members has a depot in Apapa, it was only natural that we would eventually figure out how to cooperate for the betterment of the Apapa hub.

Since we are well-versed in our own history as an association—perhaps the first of its kind—and share not only logistics but also products, we are prepared to deal with shortages like this.

Product swaps are what we do. So, if my depot runs out of merchandise, I can borrow some from another MEMAN firm depot and then return the favor when I have more.

The bright side is that now everyone can concentrate on maintaining a wet station. In every major city and urban area in Nigeria, we have a key station. “We believe that the lines will abate before the weekend if we can keep our 3,000 stations wet and have an efficient transportation system,” he added.

In response to allegations that ongoing fuel subsidies from the federal government are to blame for the current shortage, Mr. Isong stated that the price of gasoline has remained stable for some time due to government action.

We can all see that there is an intervention; that much is true. Prices will remain relatively unchanged, according to the president’s speech.

He made it sound as though he issued an order, and the importers have maintained the same price.

Thus, the price is the same for all of us who purchase items when we travel to the vessel. However, transportation costs from the ship to the depot do exist due to the deregulation of the price. There are three dollar-based costs: throughput, non-performing assets, and non-IMASA.

From the depot to your gas stations, there is a fee, and the location and method of acquisition of money affect the price. The way you plan your transportation also affects the final price. “That’s why prices vary from one gas station to another,” he said.

Disruptions to the gasoline supply chain will persist until next week, according to Chief Chinedu Ukadike, the Public Relations Officer of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), who spoke with Vanguard.

The severe scarcity of supplies, according to Chief Ukadike, is due to the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority’s (NMDPRA) sluggishness in renewing marketers’ licenses and problems with imports.

The NMDPRA has renewed the licenses of only 1,050 out of 15,000 marketers, he revealed.

So far, there is no product,” he explained. You will notice scarcity and long lines at gas stations when supplies are low or nonexistent. The lone Nigerian petroleum product supplier, NNPCL, has placed the blame on logistical and vessel issues.

We rely on imports, so any disruption to the global supply chain will affect our home supplies. According to reliable sources, the majority of Europe’s refineries are currently executing turnaround maintenance.

Therefore, it is now more challenging to source petroleum products.

Maxi Oliver Okolo, chairman of the IPMAN Aba Depot, explained the higher pump prices at IPMAN stations by stating that independent marketers were loading privately owned depots at N800 per litre.

Because we can’t possibly sell less than that, we’ve petitioned the government to step in and make sure we obtain our items straight from NNPC warehouses. If we want to stay profitable and compete, that’s our only option.

The difficult business environment has forced many of our members to shut down their stations and fire their employees, he said.

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