Home Energy Petrol scarcity to linger over N650b subsidy debt

Petrol scarcity to linger over N650b subsidy debt

Petrol scarcity to linger over N650b subsidy debt

..Marketers threaten to shut depots.
.Give FG 14-day ultimatum to pay
…NNPC imports $5.8bn petrol
.Charlyboy group protests

UGO AMADI, with agency reports
Nigeria is about to witness another major round of petrol scarcity following the determination of marketers to recover debt owed members by the Federal Government.To ensure full recovery of the money a 14-day ultimatum has been handed down by the Depot and Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, DAPPMA over non-settlement of over N650 billion subsidy claims.

In a letter dated 20th February 2018 and obtained by Oriental News Nigeria which was addressed to the minister of state for petroleum resources and signed by Olufemi Adewole executive secretary of the Association, DAPPMA, lamented the plight of marketers who are constantly under pressure from their creditors.The letter, which was also copied to the Vice President and Senate president read in part, “Sir, Subsequent to our letter ref: DS/ES/Presidency/16 dated 24th Jan, 2018 and copied to you (as attached), we again observe a lack of response, on the part of the Federal Government, to the plight of petroleum marketers, many of which have become financially insolvent.“We are continually under pressure by, our banks/AMCON, with looming threats of imminent take-over of our petrol stations & Tank Farms and other creditor labour unions, NARTO/PTD to whom we are substantially indebted due to past freight services.

“In the light of the fore going, Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPPMAN) members do not have any other option open to us to forestall increasing debt burdens of borrowing to pay staff than to immediately commence massive staff disengagement as earlier forewarned in our letter of 24th January, 2018, where we had, in the light of the above and after exhausting all formal avenues to secure payment of these debts, alerted the Federal Government, via a 21-day notice to the likelihood of disengaging personnel; a last resort to curtail spiralling borrowings and interests in the effort to meet salary obligations to underutilised personnel”.
The Association said the unfortunate primary fallout of this step is the likely shut down of all DAPPMAN depots nationwide due to lack of man power 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.

“This letter serves as a fresh 14-day reminder from today and an opportunity for the Federal Government tiers and its agencies to speedily approve and pay off its remaining subsidy era indebtedness to all our members and indeed all petroleum marketing companies.“Whilst we would remain expectant of Federal Government’s positive response and financial instruments to offset the debts owed, please accept the assurances of our highest regards”, the letter stated In order to combat the fuel crisis that resurfaced since late last year, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said it has imported 9.8 million metric tons of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) worth $5.8 billion This was disclosed by the Group Managing Director of the corporation, Dr. Maikanti Baru, during a public hearing by the Senate Committee on Public Accounts today at the National Assembly Complex in Abuja.

In a presentation by the GMD who was represented by the Chief Operating Officer, Finance and Accounts, Mr. Abdulrazaq Isiaka, NNPC stated that it carried out the massive importation in fulfilment of its statutory role of supplier of last resort to ensure that Nigerians do not suffer as a result of product unavailability.According to the GMD, the corporation’s provision of 9.8 million metric tons of petrol so far has helped a great deal in ameliorating the suffering of Nigerians. He said the corporation’s intervention became necessary following the inability of the major and independent marketers to import the product because of the high landing cost which made cost recovery and profitability difficult owing to the regulated price regime.

While assuring the public of adequate product supply, the GMD, however, pointed out that cross-border smuggling due to price disparity between Nigeria and neighbouring countries where a litre of petrol sells above N350 per litre as well as logistic issues in trucking products to different locations across the country remained serious challenges in the quest for fuel queue-free situation in the country.The Chairman Senate Committee on Public Accounts, Sen. Matthew Uroghide, noted that the public hearing was a part of the Committee’s duty to find lasting solutions to the problem of fuel scarcity in order to make life easy for all Nigerians.

However, NNPC has called for closer collaboration among African nations not only in oil and gas but across all sectors to leapfrog the economies in the continent.Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, made this submission during his goodwill message at the opening ceremony of the ongoing Nigeria International Petroleum Summit (NIPS) at the International Conference Center in Abuja.Speaking on the theme of this year’s conference is: “Leading Africa’s Response to Global Oil and Gas Challenges.”Dr. Baru challenged the participants to come up with practicable solutions to effectively develop Africa’s hydrocarbon resources, saying that discussions and interests alike would stir up strategies and actionable items that would crystalize into a veritable roadmap for the energy future of the African continent.

“Our expectation is that at the end of this summit a communique will be issued out as action points for current and potential African oil and gas countries for better collaboration and development,” Dr. Baru stated.According to him, discussions were expected to cut across the industry value chain with focus on deepening collaboration across and within the African oil and gas space; modern technologies in the industry; innovative strategies to survive after a global downturn; current trends in the oil and gas markets; gas to power; prospects and opportunities; policy and regulation; sustainable socio-economic development of the Niger Delta; as well as lessons learnt so far from the Nigerian experience.Dr. Baru pledged the support of the NNPC to nurture the summit into a full-fledged international summit like the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) held in Houston, USA and Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference held annually in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

He applauded the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, for working tirelessly and for ensuring the fruition of the summit, stressing that his good works would not go unnoticed.The GMD noted that NIPS was expected to be Africa’s largest and most important industry platform and linkage to the world, adding that after six decades of petroleum exploration and exploitation in Nigeria, the summit was long overdue.

Charlyboy group protests to NNPC hq:
Charles Oputa, a.k.a Charlyboy, on Wednesday led the `Ourmumudondo’ group, on a peaceful protest to the headquarters of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) over lingering fuel scarcity across the country. ‘Ourmumudondo’is a non-political coalition of Nigerians from all backgrounds that advocates national reawakening towards holding leaders responsible and ensuring good governance at all levels.

Charlyboy (M) during a protest to the NNPC headquarters on Wednesday in Abuja Newsmen report that the group said the protest was necessary for the NNPC and other stakeholders in the petroleum sector to know that Nigerians were tired of the fuel predicament. Charlyboy who spoke on behalf of the group, noted that the lingering fuel scarcity has brought untold hardship on Nigerians, as most stations have remained shut or still with long vehicular queues.

“For over three months, Nigerians have endured agonizing fuel scarcity crisis, which has caused a hike in the prices of commodities, cost of transportation and wastage of man-hours spent on queues daily at petrol stations.
“The lingering fuel scarcity has now brought untold hardship on the ordinary Nigerian people who may not be able to hold those in charge responsible.

“We at the OurMumuDonDo Movement have decided to ensure that the President, the NNPC and other stakeholders in the oil sector are compelled to find a lasting solution to this current crisis. “Let them do something urgently to abate the sufferings of Nigerians, not just in Abuja alone, but across the country,” he said.

NAN reports that leaders of some other Civil Society Groups also joined the Ourmumudondo peaceful protest to the NNPC headquarters. Mr. Ariyo Dare-Atoye of the Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy, said Nigerians across different states were buying fuel at exorbitant prices, far above the official pump price of N145 per litre. “It is unacceptable that government and its agents would to `normalise’ the scarcity, while Nigerians are buying fuel at cut-throat prices in different states.

“It is the duty of leaders to take responsibility and serve the interest of the people, no matter what it takes, and that is what we are demanding from the NNPC and leaders at all levels,” he said. Also, Mr Deji Adeyanju of the Concerned Nigerians urged the NNPC to apply inclusive approach in addressing the fuel challenge. “The Federal Republic of Nigeria is not limited to Abuja, as millions of citizens are still struggling to get fuel at exorbitant prices in different parts of the country. “If the situation appeared insurmountable, then the NNPC should convene stakeholders meeting for ideas on how to collectively stop this lingering challenge facing Nigerians, “he said.

The group therefore handed a letter containing t its grievances and demands, addressed to the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mr Maikanti Baru, Mr Ndu Ughamadu, Head of Group Public Affairs Division of the Corporation, who received the letter on behalf of the GMD, commended the group for its genuine concern towards the welfare of Nigerians.

He therefore assured the group that their demands would be looked into accordingly, and added that the Corporation was doing everything possible within its reach to ensure that fuel was always available for Nigerians. He however attributed the lingering shortages of fuel to ‘leakages’, adding that many marketers were diverting fuel meant for local consumption to other neighbouring countries. “The NNPC has remained the sole importer of fuel, as well as local refining, and it has effectively done this to meet the daily demand of the products. “However, the activities of smugglers who divert the product meant for one place to another, and even take them to neighbouring countries, has been a major challenge, “he noted.

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