The Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA) says members’ depots are empty, maintaining that they are not hoarding fuel and are therefore not responsible for crippling crisis.
In a statement signed by Olufemi Adewole, DAPPMA’s executive secretary, the association said there are always issues when the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) takes on the role of “sole importer” as it currently does.
“It is on record that any time NNPC assumes the role of sole importer there are issues of distribution, because it is marketers who own 80 percent of the functional receptive facilities and retail outlets in Nigeria,” DAPPMA said.
“Historically, DAPPMA members imported about 65 percent of the nation’s total fuel consumption. Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) imports about 15 percent and PPMC/NNPC imports the balance of 20 percent.
“However this scenario changed drastically due to several challenges faced by marketers.
“Our members’ depots are presently empty. However, if the PPMC/NNPC can provide us with petrol, we are ready to do 24-hour loading to alleviate the sufferings of Nigerians and for the fuel queues to be totally eliminated.”
The association said its members would have to rely on subsidy to import fuel because the landing cost of petrol is already above N145 per litre.
According to them, about 800 million litres of petrol have been ordered and paid for without it being programmed or loaded.
“Sadly, some people have blamed marketers for hoarding products. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth,” they said.
“Hoarding is regarded as economic sabotage and we assure all Nigerians that our members are not involved in such illicit act.
“We, petroleum products marketers, do empathise with all Nigerians who are going through difficulties at this time by spending hours on fuel queues because of the current fuel scarcity due to no fault of theirs.”