High Cost of Vessels, Inadequate Trucks Responsible for Fuel Scarcity, Say Marketers

Peter Uzoho

The Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) has attributed the lingering fuel scarcity in the country to high costs of vessels and inadequate trucks to deliver petroleum products from depots to filling stations across Nigeria.

The marketers explained that these high logistics and exchange rate costs continue to put pressure on their operations with ripple effects on the pump price.

They made the clarification in a statement Friday, saying the fuel queues “are caused by exceptionally high demand and bottlenecks in the fuel distribution chain.”

“The major cause is the shortage and high  costs of daughter’s vessels for ferrying product from mother vessels to depots along the coast,” it said.

“Next is the inadequate number of trucks to meet the demand to deliver products from depots to filling stations nationwide.”

MOMAN said it sympathises with Nigerians over the challenges they are facing in the purchase of petrol at filling stations across the country.

Over the past three months, it said its staff members have worked diligently at depots and filling stations to relieve the stress faced by Nigerians through the Christmas and New year periods.

“Our members have again agreed to extend depot loading hours as well as keep strategically situated service stations open for longer hours to ease access to fuels for our customers,” the association said.

It noted that it shall continue to use its best endeavours to ensure that product is sold at the pump at prices currently approved by the regulatory authorities, despite pressure on price by demand and costs in immediate operating environment.

“A final resolution to these challenges will be the full deregulation of the petroleum downstream sector to encourage liberalisation of supply and long-term investments in distribution assets. We urge the government to work towards this end goal,” it said.

In recent months, especially since the government announced plans to remove fuel subsidies, Nigerians have had a hard time getting petroleum products at filling stations.

The scarcity has persisted despite the government’s repeated claims it had enough petroleum products in stock. In many parts of the country, operators of filling stations sold at prices higher than the government’s pump price.

The Nigerian government Friday night said it has not approved any increase in the pump prices of petrol across the country.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva made this disclosure even as Nigerians continue to queue for fuel in filling stations amidst reports of increase in the pump price of petroleum products.

Earlier on Thursday, reports claimed that the government quietly approved ₦185 as the new petrol pump price per litre.

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