An impending fuel scarcity looms in some South West states, including Oyo, Osun and parts of Ondo State, over the grounding of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) depot in Ibadan, Oyo State. Ibadan depot services Oyo, Osun and some parts of Ondo State.
The depot has been grounded for over two years, just like Ejigbo depot in Lagos, Ore in Ondo State, with only Mosimi depot in Sagamu, Ogun State, offering skeletal services in the South West region.
Chairman, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Ibadan Depot branch, Alhaji Raheem Rasaq Tayo, said the acute shortage of petroleum products in the region has led to a situation where private depot owners hike prices of products at will.
According to him, the inability of the Ibadan NNPC depot to dispense products has led to skyrocketing prices of petroleum products, leaving some marketers at the mercy of private depot operations.
‘‘For now, private depots operators are the only major suppliers of petroleum products in the South West region. As at now now, petrol is sold for N143 per litre, diesel N248 per litre and kerosene N245 per litre. This price excludes transport and all other ancillary charges.”
Meanwhile the IPMAN boss faulted the private depots price band, saying it does not conform with the template approved by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) . ‘‘Unless something is done, and urgently too, by the Federal Government, our members might be forced to shut down their outlets.
At the moment, many of them are running out of stock and are closing down because they cannot replenish their stock at the current market price.
“We appeal to the public for understanding as we can no longer can cope with the economic loss being incurred in carrying out our business, especially in this era of poor electricity supply with our members spending a chunk of of what ought to be their profit on powering generators to energise the fuel pumps. “This is not our making.
We also appeal to the government at all levels to exercise their influence and right to ensure that Ibadan depot becomes fully operational as this is the only way supply of petroleum products can be guaranteed at affordable prices,’’ he advised.
As an interim measure, he urged the management of NNPC to allow marketers bridge products from other depots as a means of cushioning the effect and untold hardship marketers are currently being subjected to.
In a related development, Tayo has called on the Oyo State government to look into the issue of huge taxes and levies, which, he said, was impacting negatively on the operations of IPMAN members.
“A situation where state approval by Oyo State government has now risen to over N10 million from the initial N1.5 million, which our members cannot even pay, can only mean one thing; that the state government is banning construction of filling stations.
“Government should realise that many outlet owners are only keeping their stations hoping that things would improve. And until the Federal Government gets a grip of the situation, especially the supply of petroleum products, unprofitable business would persist in the downstream sector,’’ he lamented.