By Michael Eboh
Abuja— Oil marketers, Tuesday, blamed the Federal Government for the persistent fuel scarcity, even as the fuel crisis continued unabated across the country.
One of the marketers, who spoke to Vanguard in Abuja, said Nigerians should hold the Federal Government responsible for the crisis, stating that the government has, against all advice and agreements, refused to pay the marketers the debts owed them in respect of subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit, PMS.
The marketer who chose to remain anonymous, said the Federal Government appears not to be serious about bringing the scarcity to an end, as it has failed to honour most of the agreements reached between it and the marketers.
The marketer said: “Nigerians should blame the Federal Government for the fuel scarcity currently witnessed across the country. Marketers have shown commitment towards ending the scarcity but the Federal Government has not been serious about abiding with certain agreements reached during some of our meetings.
“The fact that most oil marketers have stopped fuel importation into the country at the moment was because they do not have money to finance the import and this is because the Federal Government has refused to pay us the money they owe us.
“Also, the fact that most banks have stopped giving out credit to oil marketers to import fuel was because we have not been able to pay our debts to the banks, while our inability to pay the bank is because the Federal Government has refused to pay us.”
The marketer called on Nigerians to prevail on the Federal Government to settle the debts owed oil marketers, as only this will help address the fuel crisis.
90% of Nigerians buy above N87/litre
Meanwhile, NOIPolls Limited, in a statement announcing its recent poll, yesterday, stated that 90 per cent of Nigerians buy petrol above the official rate of N87 per litre due to the scarcity, putting the average price per litre at N114.
The statement noted that the fuel scarcity had inflicted untold hardship on motorists and commuters who are sometimes left stranded at major bus stops and motor parks, while fares have been increased to certain destinations.
The statement further stated that some of the petrol stations have increased their pump price from the official price of N87 per litre to N100 and above.
The statement noted that in the North-Central geopolitical zone, 88 per cent of residents buy fuel at an average price of N116 per litre, far above the official price of N87 per litre, while 97 per cent of residents in the North-East geopolitical zone purchase the commodity at an average of N129 per litre.
In the North-West, 96 per cent of residents purchase fuel at an average of N124 per litre; in the South-East, 96 per cent of residents purchase fuel at N105 per litre; 92 per cent of residents in the South-South purchase at N110 per litre while 72 per cent of residents in the South-West purchase fuel at N101 per litre.
Effect of scarcity
On the effect of the fuel scarcity, the statement noted that 48 per cent of Nigerians were affected in the area of increased transport fare, while 17 per cent were affected in the area of spending more time on queues at petrol stations.
The scarcity, according to the report, has also brought about an increase in the expenses of 17 per cent of Nigerians; businesses of 12 per cent of Nigerians were affected by the scarcity; three per cent of Nigerians were unable to use their car while two per cent were unable to use their generators.
On the survey method, NOIPOlls said: “The opinion poll was conducted in the week of March 24, 2015. It involved telephone interviews of a random nationwide sample. 1,500 randomly selected phone-owning Nigerians, aged 18 years and above, representing the six geopolitical zones in the country, were interviewed.”