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How to end petrol scarcity, by independent marketers

John Ofikhenua, Abuja

Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) on Monday sought equitable allocation of petrol from the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL).
Its President, Alhaji Debo Ahmed, made the call in a statement.

He said the equitable allocation of petrol can douse its scarcity.

Besides, he urged the company to improve the importation of the product.

The IPMAN boss said: “To stop the tide of this fuel scarcity, NNPC Ltd should improve on its importation and be equitable in its allocation of petrol to marketers.”

He noted that IPMAN has the highest market share but members do not have a commensurate allocation of petrol.

“Leaving IPMAN members at the mercy of private depot owners at that high rate will not bring down the prices nor douse the scarcity.

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“IPMAN members cannot access petrol effectively from private depots with their high prices ranging from N215- N220 per litre excluding transportation and depot expenses.”

The president said the perception of the public is that oil marketers hike prices and hoard the product.

The statement reads in part: “Sales at the various filling station was smooth as per government controlled price.

“But immediately private depot owners started increasing their prices the bandwagon effects became noticeable at the filling stations.

“The increase in the price of petrol at the filling stations was a result of the increase in price at the private depots where IPMAN members buy their products.

“The other aspect that exacerbated the fuel scarcity was the non-availability of petrol in the system.

“Usually, when importation cannot meet up our consumption the demand becomes more than the supply which invariably distorts pricing equilibrium. NNPC Ltd should import massively.

“The other issue is hoarding. At any time scarcity occurs, the public is made to believe that marketers are hoarding.

“At what price are marketers going to hoard petrol? Scarcity periods are temporary. No marketers can take that risk, especially when the scarcity can be abated impromptu.

“Time value of money is of the essence because bank charges are running. An oil marketer has to be pragmatic in the management of its liquid assets.

“The public should remove hoarding from their mindset and see scarcity as a flip-gap of the system which will be remedied in due course.

“NNPC Ltd should upscale its planning in order to take into consideration periods of high movement of persons during the yuletide period and election year.

“The company should improve on its importation more equitable in their allocation of petrol to oil marketers and see the positive results.”

Credit: The Nation

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