Queues Return To Filling Stations In Rivers

Fuel queues surfaced in Lagos on Tuesday, February 8, 2022.
File photo: Fuel queues surfaced in Lagos on Tuesday, February 8, 2022.

 

Long queues have once again surfaced at filling stations in Port Harcourt, the Rivers state capital.

The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) had last week threatened to suspend the lifting of Premium Motor Spirit also known as petrol from depots in the state over allegations of harassment by security agents.

It would appear the petroleum marketers have made good their threat as queues have been observed at different petrol stations in the state capital and its suburbs.

Driving through Port Harcourt, a casual observer would be inundated either by closed petrol stations, or queues building up at opened stations. You would be forgiven for asking what is going on.

Some of the customers who spoke to Channels Television not only lamented the long times spent before purchasing the product but also the attendant hike in the price of the product.

A disgruntled customer who gave his name simply as Ebere said the increase in price has translated into an increase in the cost of transportation as well.

While some stations were locked, others that were open jacked up the prices. At the NNPC retail station on East-West road, Channels Television discovered that while the metre on the dispenser displayed 179 per liter, the attendant sold fuel at 190.

With the increased waiting time and frustration at the new situation, tempers have begin to boil over even as some people resort to stocking up the product in containers because they don’t know what the future holds.

It is not known how long this scarcity will last and if there is any light at the end of the tunnel, however, if past fuel scarcities are anything to go by, then residents of the Garden City may just be in for a very unpleasant period.

FG Insists On N165 Per Litre For Petrol

 

The Federal Government has said that the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) remains N165 per litre across all filling stations nationwide.

This was made known by the Executive Director, Distribution Systems, Storage and Retail Infrastructure, NMDPRA, Mr. Ugbugo Ukoha, in Lagos.

In a similar development, The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) says it has resolved to maintain the status quo ante, even as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Pipeline and Product Marketing Company (PPMC) responded positively to the association’s request by releasing products from their tank farms that can last 32 days.’

IPMAN’s National President, Chinedu Okoronkwo, said this at a briefing in Abuja on Wednesday.

Selling Petrol At N165 Unrealistic, Says IPMAN As Scarcity Hits Lagos

A photo shows an NNPC retail outlet as people struggle to buy petrol. Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

It was one of the unusual days in Lagos on Monday as many residents spent hours waiting on queues in filling stations at various locations in the state.

This was as a result of the scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly known as petrol which affected businesses which depend on the product for power due to the erratic supply of electricity in the country.

Similarly, the number of commercial vehicles plying the roads was less compared to a regular business day, leaving many passengers stranded at various bus stops.

While some were forced to pay extra fares for transportation, others opted to trek to their respective destinations, including offices, markets, and homes.

Amid fears that the scarcity might be a result of industrial action by members of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), the union said it took a decision to go on strike.

In an interview with Channels Television, the Lagos Zonal Chairman of IPMAN, Akin Akinrinade, explained the rationale behind the fuel scarcity.

 

According to him, the situation across the state is as a result of the operating environment which has become hostile to their businesses.

Akinrinade specifically stated that the petroleum marketers were not on strike as feared but have found it difficult to operate considering the dependence on diesel whose price has skyrocketed.

“Members of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria IPMAN have shut down their stations, not because we are striking; we are not on strike,” he said.

“Rather, the business environment has been very hostile to us such that we can no longer do business under this condition. For you to load a litre of petrol, you pay in N162 per litre.”

The IPMAN official was quick to say the situation had nothing to do with the removal of subsidy or deregulation of the petroleum sector.

He listed the high cost of buying petrol at the depots, the high cost of diesel for running their station, and the increased cost of freight as the major factors responsible.

Akinrinade stressed that it was no longer feasible to sell the product at the recommended price of N165 to a litre, adding that the landing cost of petrol was between N175 to N178 naira to the litre.

“You now have to add the cost of transportation which is between N6 to N8, depending on the distance within Lagos,” he explained. “If it is outside Lagos, it is much more than that.

“So, if you add N8 to N162, you already have N170 and the government which is the regulator wants us to sell at N165; we have not even added the charges at the depot and the running cost at our stations.”

“You know what diesel says now, and you know how epileptic power supply is; we run on generator, using diesel at N800 per litre. There is no station in Lagos that uses less than 50 litres (of diesel) per day.

“So, our members can no longer sell (petrol) at N165 per litre; in fact, there is no reasonable person in this business that can sell below N180 per litre, so it is not as if we are on strike,” he concluded.

Marketers Threaten To Halt Fuel Supply In North-West States Over N40bn Debt

A file photo of an attendant filling the fuel tank of a car.

 

The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Gusau Depot, has threatened to stop transporting petroleum products within Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara and parts of Katsina state.

The threat came following the Federal Government’s failure to settle its N40bn outstanding payment to IPMAN members, IPMAN’s Zonal Chairman, Yahya Kamba, said.

According to Mr Kamba, the payment is based on importation and transportation claims of up to 11 months.

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He said the Federal Government has reneged on the agreement reached with the association.

“It is not a subsidy,” Mr Kamba said. “It is money that we marketers contributed. We have to pay a certain amount for every litre we purchase from the government. Just for the country to have a uniform pump price.

“We contributed this money just the way pensioners contribute their own. So there is no reason anyone can give us to say they have no money. We are asking for our contribution.

“Our arrangement is for the Ministry to pay us every week; when you transport this product, you are supposed to be paid within a week; but now we are counting months. We have counted up to 11 months. The payment has stopped since June 2021.”

National Grid Collapse, Fuel Shortage: Relief Is On The Way – Buhari

The fuel scarcity led to a hike in transportation fares across the country.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has assured Nigerians that the inconveniences caused by the prolonged shortage of petroleum products, and the collapse of the national grid, would soon be a thing of the past.

In a statement by his spokesman, Garba Shehu on Wednesday, the president while apologizing to Nigerians, promised that “relief is on the way”.

Buhari expressed sadness at the fact that Nigerians are experiencing at the moment something which he says his administration has successfully averted within its seven years in office.

President Buhari said: “The government is working round the clock to attend to this issue. An action plan agreed earlier this month is being implemented to address the scarcity. Working together with the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) and the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), this plan is now bearing fruit”.

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He said sufficient fuel supply has returned to a handful of states with reduced queues at stations falling, adding that in the coming days, that would be the case across the rest of the country.

“Looking to the longer term, funds are being targeted toward keeping fuel availability affordable for the country. The international energy markets have surged drastically in recent months; the government will however ensure that consumers are protected against these price spikes,” he said.

The President added that he has received information that some people are not behaving properly at the depots and among owners of petrol stations and in this regard, he has directed the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), the NNPC and the entire security apparatus of the nation to take strong action against those responsible.

On the issue of electricity blackouts experienced across the nation, President Buhari remarked that the situation is also being addressed.

“A dip in hydroelectric generation due to seasonal pressures has coincided with technical and supply problems at thermal stations. On this, the government is also working tirelessly to resolve the issues at the latter to guarantee sufficient power flows into the national grid,” Buhari said.

President Buhari disclosed that as part of emergency measures put in place following a meeting convened with key stakeholders to address the low power generation in the country, the main challenge was identified as being one of low gas power generation due to sabotage of gas pipelines leading to a shutdown of power plants coupled with ongoing routine maintenance on other gas power plants.

“To recover over 1000MW, actions were agreed upon between the players in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) and also NNPC. The actions targeted the National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) plants, (Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) and power plants run under NNPC Joint Ventures, Agip and Shell (NAOC and SPDC) and progress on the key actions have already ensured the restoration to the grid of 375MW after the pipeline from “Okpai 1” was repaired.

“To also ramp up the underutilised capacity of the NDPHC capacity, a USD 50 Million Gas Supply agreement is being finalized to secure the sustainability of up to 800MW of underutilized NIPP assets,” he explained.

The President assured Nigerians that the government’s attention to these problems will bear fruits very soon.

Court Orders Removal Of Illegal Executives Occupying IPMAN Offices Across Nigeria

 

A Federal High Court sitting in Calabar, the Cross River State Capital has ordered the Deputy Chief Registrar, Litigation of the Federal High Court, Abuja to execute the judgement of the court delivered on February 21, 2019, with immediate effect.

The court order was to remove any person presently occupying the Defendant’s National Secretariat and accord recognition to the National Executive Committee of the Defendant led by Engr. Sanusi Fari as the representative of the defendant.

Justice Simon Amobeda also mandated the Inspector-General of Police, FCT Police command, Commissioners of Police of the 36 states of Nigeria, the DSS and all Heads of State Commands to obey and implement same order both at the National and State levels.

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The injunction follows a motion notice dated 6th of June, 2019 between Hon. Ben Dimkpa and four others and also, registered trustees of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria.

It further mandated the Honourable Minister of Petroleum Resources, the Attorney-General of the Federation, Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation(NNPC) and the Managing Director of Petroleum Products Marketing Company Limited to obey and implement the judgement.

Increase Fuel Importation To Meet Demands, IPMAN Tells FG

NNPC Attributes Fall In Diesel Price To Improved Supply

The western zone of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria [IPMAN], has advised the Federal Government to increase the importation of fuel to meet the local demands.

They are also asking the FG to deregulate the sector and ensure the full capacity of the depots across the country in order to permanently eradicate the constant shortage of fuel across the country.

The zonal chairman of IPMAN, Debo Ahmed, stated this while briefing journalists on the lingering shortage of fuel which he attributed to the insincerity of government to end the crisis.

He said that the independent marketers that account for 8,000 filling stations across the country are being given 30% of the imported fuel while NNPC stations with only 549 stations in the country usually get the highest of 50%.

Mr Ahmed further noted that since the Federal Government did not allow independent marketers to import fuel again due to inability to pay the subsidy, the little being imported should be increased and revert to the former sharing formula of 40% for IPMAN, 30% for major marketers and 30% for NNPC stations.

NNPC Assures Nigerians Of Sufficient Product As Fuel Queues Emerge

Most petrol stations nationwide are currently besieged with queues, some are either shut down while those opened are flooded with inevitable queues.

The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has attributed the scarcity to undersupplying of petrol by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) from Lagos.

An Independent Marketer, Benjamin Omale, told Channels Television, on Tuesday that they were not getting enough products from the PPMC and Private tank farms in Lagos, coupled with the fact the Kaduna refinery where they normally load their products from have been shut down for quite some time.

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“Right now, we are having a total shortage of products because we are not getting supply from our depots. And as we all know, the refinery, we have not been getting supply from the refinery. We are hoping and believing that when they resume production, we will be able to get products from their and distribute to all our outlets,’’ he said.

He appealed to the PPMC to ensure that marketers get enough petrol that will serve them throughout the Yuletide, expressing fear that the scarcity could extend to next year if nothing is done urgently to address the situation.

The GMD of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Maikantu Baru had earlier given the assurance on November 30, 2017, in a statement saying there were enough products for the Christmas season and beyond, and no plan to increase fuel price at the depot and at filling stations.

“We are prepared and we have sufficient products that will last us to the end of the year and into next year. We have an average consumption of about 35million litres per day and at the moment, we have well over 1 billion litres of petroleum products,” he said.

In Kaduna, long queues have resurfaced at many filling stations in the state capital and other parts of the state, as most of the stations across the metropolis were shut down on Tuesday morning due to non-availability of petrol.

This is coming more than a year after the country experienced petrol scarcity, especially during festive periods.

Only a few stations were observed to have petrol and are selling to motorists, thereby leading to long queues.

Some motorists in the long queues, who expressed concerns over the development appealed to the Federal Government and relevant regulatory agencies to step up action in curtailing the crisis.

In Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital fuel stations as monitored in the state capital  were dispensing with free movement of vehicles in and out of fuel stations just as the department of petroleum resources monitored compliance by fuel station across the state

Leading the monitoring team in the state capital, the operation controller of the DPR in charge of Ogun State, Mrs Muinat Bello-Zagi said that the monitoring exercise became imperative in order to ensure that consumers are not under dispensed and have value for money.

Delta IPMAN Threatens To Shut Down Operations

Delta IPMAN Threatens To Shut Down Operations

The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) in Delta State has threatened to shut down operations following the cancellation of its elections.

Members of the association, who stormed the Headquarters of the State Police Command on Friday, accused the state government of trying to meddle with the polls scheduled for December 1 which happens to be a public holiday.

They occupied the premises of the police command carrying placards with various inscriptions to protest against the incidence.

The oil marketers, however, appealed to the state government to intervene in the matter and demanded that their elections must hold as planned.

They also alleged that the current leadership of IPMAN was not properly representing their interest and also imposing themselves on members of the association.

After about 30 minutes of demonstration, the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Zanna Ibrahim, who was casually dressed, perhaps in the spirit of the Salah celebration, came out to address the protesters in company of some police officers.

He advised them to keep their calm and promised to deliver their message to the state governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, as soon as he can.

“I have just met a few members of your leadership and we have spoken at great length on the issues at stake,” Ibrahim said.

“I have always been a part of the process to solve the problem of IPMAN and I want to assure you that I will definitely convey your message to the executive governor of the state.

“This is because if there is a problem, the bulk will shift to the security agencies; so the earlier this is nipped in the bud, the better for the peace and tranquillity that currently exists in the state,” he added.

The aggrieved protesters who appeared unsatisfied with the response of the police commissioner further took their demonstration to the Government House, hoping to get an explanation as to why the elections were canceled.

Spokesman for the group, Esievho Emmanuel, gave a summary of their demand while addressing reporters at the Government House in Asaba, the state capital.

He said: “At the last security meeting with the governor, we were told to prepare for elections today (Friday) but to our greatest surprise, we were also told that the elections have been canceled for reasons not known to us.

“We want to state categorically that if the elections do not hold today, we are going to shut down our operation come Monday, December 4, 2017.”

In a swift reaction, the man in the eye of the storm who is the current IPMAN Chairman in the state, Benjamin Emoefe, denied allegations by the group during a telephone interview with Channels Television.

Emoefe, who explained the circumstances that led to the cancellation of the elections, said: “We are aware that IPMAN is set to hold their elections and that is why we have called them up for a meeting in order to ensure the elections are conducted in a peaceful manner.”

Before the protest, Governor Okowa had made frantic efforts to ensure a peaceful election for the group.

This formed part of the issues discussed at the last State Security Council meeting held at the annex of the Government House in Warri, Delta State.

Major Stakeholder Identifies Causes Of Petrol Scarcity

petrol scarcityA major stakeholder in the petroleum sector, Mr Uche Ezeala, says until the issue of subsidy and distribution chain of petroleum products are tackled, petrol scarcity will continue to linger.

Mr Ezeala is the National Chairman of Marine, Land and Border Operation in charge of Monitoring, Distribution of Petroleum Products and Enforcement, of the Independent Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN).

He made the statement while giving his opinion on major causes of petrol scarcity in an interview with Channels Television in Anambra State.

Mr Ezeala maintained that several sharp practices perpetrated by personnel at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) depot, especially, the diversion of petrol across the border, which he urged the corporation to tackle aggressively and bring it to an end, had contributed greatly to the short fall in supply.

If not tackled, just a few cabal would continue to benefit from the nation’s common wealth, he said.

Everywhere in Nigeria, petrol queues stretch beyond the capture of the eyes and the agony and pain written on the faces of the people are very obvious.

It has lingered for months and citizens buy the product at varying rates in various states.

In Anambra State, it is sold between 190 and 200 Naira presently as against the 86.50 Naira official price.

The ugly situation drew the irk of Mr Ezeala, entrusted with the responsibility of checking sharp practices in the petroleum products distribution chain in collaboration with the Nigerian Securities and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).

To end the scarcity, Mr Ezeala suggested that the Federal Government should give IPMAN the liberty through the Marine, Land and Border Operations to checkmate the excesses of the NNPC distribution chain and within one week resolve the issue of fuel scarcity and price hike.

Nothing will soothe Nigerians more than having the fuel situation resolved, as the burden of catering to transportation issues, business and social activities and even personal comfort is increasing by the day with little or no commensurate resources.

Kwara IPMAN Suspends Selling Of Fuel, Cites DPR High-handedness

DPRMembers of the Kwara State chapter of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association in Nigeria (IPMAN) have stopped selling petroleum products throughout the state, over what they call high-handedness of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).

The IPMAN members said the DPR had refused to allow them sell above official price.

Briefing journalists after an emergency meeting at the zonal headquarter of IPMAN in Ilorin in Friday, the state Chairman of IPMAN, Olarewaju Okanlawon, said the “suspension of sales of the fuel will persist until the DPR’s boss in the state is removed”.

The western zone headquarter of IPMAN in Ilorin was filled with members across the state, as they gathered to deliberate on the step to take in addressing the refusal of the DPR’s boss in the state to allow them sell above official price of 86.50 Naira.

After the meeting, the state chairman of IPMAN told reporters that the members agreed not to sell fuel to the public since every effort made to let the DPR realise that they buy at higher price from private depots in Lagos fell on deaf ears.

He accused the DPR’s boss of not being a good manager.

“The current fuel scarcity does not require rigidity being exhibited by the operations controller in the state.”

Also in an interview, the western zone chairman of IPMAN, Debo Ahmed, supported the suspension of service, also insisting that since the IPMAN had the largest petrol stations in Nigeria, they ought to be supplied the highest quantity of fuel instead of the present 10 per cent being supplied.

At the state office of DPR, efforts to see the Operations Controller could not be successful, as no one was ready to comment in his absence.

However, at an earlier interview, the DPR Operations Controller, Phillips Salvation, noted that all propaganda and smear image campaign against him by IPMAN would not make him abdicate his responsibility of enforcing the law.

He said that his decision was part of efforts to wipe out corrupt practices.

For the past three days, residents in Kwara State have been experiencing lack of petrol in fuel service stations, as they all lock their gates refusing to sell to the motorists.

Most of the major roads noted for traffic jam are now free, as few vehicles now ply the roads due to non-availability of petrol.

The motorists wondered how the IPMAN and other bodies could undermine them, as they now patronise black markets in higher prices.

As both the DPR and IPMAN flex muscles in the state especially as it affects what price to sell fuel to the public, it is hoped that the issue would soon be resolved in order to reduce the suffering of the populace.

 

DPR, IPMAN Trade Words Over Unavailability Of Fuel In Kwara

KwaraThe Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) have called for the redeployment of Kwara State Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) Operations Controller.

On Friday, the DPR Operations Controller, Phillips Salvation, was accused of high handedness, being authoritarian and one who creates no room for dialogue.

On resumption of office barely six months earlier, Mr Salvation did not leave anyone in doubt that he was in the state to sanitize the oil industry as it affects the supply, selling and distribution of fuel to the people.

He, alongside his staff, sealed several fuel stations for either hoarding or selling above the official pump price.

This, however, seemed to be affecting the business of the Independent Marketers as the State Chairman, Okanlawon Olanrewaju, lamented that since they find it difficult buying from Federal Government depots and now patronize private ones at higher price, the DPR should allow the market forces to determine the price they sell.

The IPMAN boss wants the relevant authority to redeploy Mr Salvation from the state and bring someone who would allow for discussion and understand their plight.

Reacting, Mr Salvation described the allegation as mere blackmail arising as a result of his refusal to play ball or dance to their tunes to engage in hoarding, adulteration, smuggling, selling above official price and other shady deals.

He stated that the IPMAN officials had made several attempts to buy him over which he turned down, promising not to be involved in illegal means.

Mr Salvation stressed that his refusal to allow them has made them issue several death threats on his life and some of his staff, adding that legal means would be adopted to deal with them to ensure that none is above the law.