Oil marketers close filling stations as petrol scarcity extends to Lagos

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Oil marketers close filling stations as petrol scarcity extends to Lagos
Oil marketers close filling stations as petrol scarcity extends to Lagos

Petrol scarcity has resurfaced in Lagos and the surrounding areas as numerous oil marketers have closed their outlets to customers.

A similar shortage was observed in Abuja last week, which oil marketers attributed to poor road conditions and the high cost of diesel for distribution.

NNPC remains sole petrol

A recent investigation by news reporters over the weekend found that many independent and major oil marketers were not conducting business, leaving NNPC Limited as the sole entity attending to customers in most parts of Lagos that were visited.

NNPC Limited, being the exclusive importer of the product, has managed to maintain a supply despite market deregulation.

Other operators have been unable to import petrol due to market uncertainty and a lack of foreign exchange, with exchange rates exceeding N1,000/dollar in the informal market.

In response to this situation, the President of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Chinedu Okoronkwo, stated that stakeholders have taken measures to enable oil marketers to access foreign exchange at a rate that won’t disrupt the current product price.

However, checks in Abuja revealed that most major marketers that were open had increased their pump prices from N615 per liter to N625 per liter.

The Public Relations Officer of IPMAN, Chief Chinedu Ukadike, emphasized that private depots had run out of stock since they relied on NNPC for supplies, making the situation challenging. NNPC is still the sole importer of petrol, despite deregulation.

President of the Natural Oil and Gas Suppliers Association of Nigeria (NOGASA), Mr. Benneth Korie, warned that the downstream sector was under immense pressure, with stations closing due to harsh operational conditions.

Depot owners have been severely affected by rising crude oil prices and exchange rates, making it difficult to secure loans for their businesses due to high-interest rates.