Depot operators have challenged the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to show proof of the fuel distribution.
This was in reaction to NNPC’s report that it had released 470 trucks of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) to Lagos and Abuja.
One of the depot operators, who spoke yesterday with The Guardian in a telephone interview, asked the corporation to show where the said trucks were assigned for public consumption.
According to him, NNPC was in the right position to explain reasons for the fuel scarcity as well as give information and not them.
“We are living in an environment where people know how and where to get the information, so why bothering to ask us. Why don’t you ask the NNPC to show us where the trucks are,” he stressed.
He said most of the depots are shutting down “because we have been shown that the worse thing to do is to invest money in Nigeria.”
“Let them try and pay us the monies they owe us so we can see if we can still survive,” he added.
Also, the Executive Secretary of Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA), Mr. Olufemi Adewole, said he did not have details of individual marketer’s supply, but he was sure not all the 65 members of DAPPMA have fuel at the moment.
He said those that have would load based on where the customers are irrespective of where it’s going. “But we are going to make sure anything we have goes round as soon as possible,” he stated.
Depot operators said that over 198 private depots or tank farms across the country have remained idle since the NNPC assumed full importation of petroleum products.
These depots do not include the 22 operated by the corporation through which it pumps refined products across the country.
The inactivity of the depots is due to the inability of the major and independent marketers of petroleum products to access foreign exchange (forex) and having access to letters of credit to import.
Meanwhile, The Guardian gathered that in spite of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) warning of sanctions to erring marketers and retail outlets, people still buy petrol between N175 and N200 per liter depending on the location.
But Adewole said marketers who are selling above the pump price are certainly not members of DAPPMA.