By Kunle Kalejaye
34 days after Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, MOMAN, warned of impending fuel scarcity due to the depletion of their stock, long queues of vehicles have re surfaced in filling stations across the country.
The oil marketers have apparently been unable to replenish their stock following the failure of the Federal Government to settle their outstanding subsidy claims, totalling about N120 billion for the third and fourth quarters of 2013.
The Executive Secretary of MOMAN, Mr. Obafemi Olawore, warning of looming fuel scarcity, last month,had appealed to the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, to release the import allocation for the first quarter of 2014, explaining that its members had 45,000 metric tons which is about 60 million litres of fuel left in their storage facilities.
According to him, two of its six members had run out of petroleum products, while the remaining four members had stocks that would last for only five days if they were not replenished. The major marketers, who account for 60 per cent of petroleum products supply in the country, are Total, Conoil, Mobil, MRS and Forte Oil.
He noted that 2013 ended on a very tall hope because some payment was received and products were brought into the country.
Meanwhile, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, dismissed MOMAN’s claims and urged members of the public to avoid panic buying of petrol as there was enough fuel in the country. IPMAN President Mr. Aminu Abdulkadri, said fuel supply situation in the country was stable. He said, “There is no scarcity of fuel in the country. The marketers and Nigerians should stop sending wrong signals over scarcity of petroleum products.
“We are loading petroleum products adequately from all NNPC depots across the country and we don’t think there is any imminent scarcity because the NNPC has assured us of sufficient stock.”
He said the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and its subsidiary had sufficient stock in its marine reserves and in the national strategic reserves that would ensure that the country remained wet with petroleum products round the clock.