Fuel scarcity may worsen as depot owners give 14-day ultimatum

While Nigerians across many states continue to grapple with the unavailability of petrol at the official price, the situation may get worse due to the threat by depot owners.

Fuel scarcity may worsen as depot owners give 14-day ultimatum

While Nigerians across many states continue to grapple with the unavailability of petrol at the official price, the situation may get worse due to the threat by depot owners.

On Tuesday, the Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria, DAPPMAN, gave the federal government a 14-day ultimatum to settle a N650 billion debt allegedly owed its members.

Fuel Scarcity - Fuel scarcity may worsen as depot owners give 14-day ultimatum
Fuel Scarcity

Although the state-owned NNPC is currently the sole importer of petrol, situation analysts have blamed for the unending scarcity, the NNPC has no major depots of its own and relies on DAPPMAN and other marketers to store the imported petroleum products.

In a statement by its Executive Secretary, Olufemi Adewole, DAPPMAN said failure to meet the deadline will force its members to disengage their workers.

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Mr. Adewole said his had no other option to solve the problem of increasing debt burdens of borrowing to pay staff than to immediately commence massive staff disengagement.

“The unfortunate primary fallout of this step is the likely shut down of all DAPPMAN depots nationwide due to lack of manpower to operate same pending the time the federal government will pay off its indebtedness to petroleum marketers.

“This unfortunately will have a multiplier effect on the nationwide supply and distribution of petroleum products which presently is still a struggle,’’ he said.

Mr. Adewole said that a letter was written to the presidency on January 24 but the government failed to respond to the plight of petroleum marketers, many of whom have become financially insolvent.

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“We are continually under pressure from our banks/AMCON, with looming threats of imminent take-over of our petrol stations and tank farms.

“In the light of the above and after exhausting all formal avenues to secure payment of these debts, we have given government notice to the likelihood of disengaging our personnel.

“The unfortunate primary fallout of this step is the likely shut down of all DAPPMAN depots nationwide due to lack of manpower to operate same pending the time the government will pay off its indebtedness to petroleum marketers.

“This unfortunately will have a multiplier effect on the nationwide supply and distribution of petroleum products which presently is still a struggle,’’ he said.

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According to the scribe, this letter serves as a reminder and an opportunity for government and its agencies to speedily approve and pay off its remaining subsidy era indebtedness to all the association’s members and all petroleum marketing companies.

The current petrol scarcity across the country has been on for about three months. It has reduced in Abuja and Lagos for the past two days, but in most other states, users are made to buy at about N200 per litre instead of the official N145 per litre price.

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