Fuel scarcity will last for two more weeks — IPMAN

The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has said that the fuel scarcity being experienced across the country will last for two more weeks. 

Public Relations Officer of IPMAN, Chinedu Ukadike, told newsmen that the product is not available in the country and that it is now challenging to source the product because most refineries in Europe are undergoing turnaround maintenance.

Ukadike blamed the acute shortage in supply on importation bottlenecks and the slow pace of marketers’ licence renewal by the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, NMDPRA. He added that only 1,050 marketers out of 15,000 have had their licences renewed by NMDPRA.

Ukadike said; 

“The situation is that there is no product. Once there is a lack of supply or inadequate supply, what you will see is scarcity and queues will emerge at filling stations.

“On the part of NNPCL, which is the sole supplier of petroleum products in Nigeria, they have attributed the challenge to logistics and vessel problems.

“Once there is a breach in the international supply chain, it will have an impact on domestic supply because we depend on imports. I also have it on good authority that most of the refineries in Europe are undergoing turnaround maintenance, so sourcing petroleum products has become a bit difficult.

“NNPC Group CEO has assured us that there will be improvement in the supply chain because their vessels are arriving. Once that is done, normalcy will return. This is because once the 30-day supply sufficiency is disrupted, it takes two to three months to restore it.

“We expect that by next week or so, NNPC should be able to restore supply and with another week, normalcy should return”.

On the challenges faced by marketers in renewing their licences, Ukadike said; 

“NNPC has said the marketers who have not been able to renew their licences will not be allowed to remain on their portal which has been shut for some time now. Because of this, we have not been able to request new products.

“At this nascent period of deregulation, you will discover that this leads to scarcity, even when the product arrives. As it is now, even by their data, out of 15,000 marketers that are on the portal with licences, only 1,050 renewed their licences.

“The requirement for renewal by NMDPRA is so much. Marketers are facing a hostile environment. NNPC placed a deadline of April 15, 2024, for marketers to renew their licences.

“We are, therefore, appealing to NNPC to extend this deadline and also to NMDPRA to hasten the release of licences of marketers who have completed their processes, and also reduce bottlenecks around licence renewals”.