By IKURU LIZZY
PORT HARCOURT – Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has expressed worry at looming acute petroleum products scarcity in the country.
Mr Joseph Obele, the Chairman, Rivers State chapter of the union, said this in a statement on Wednesday in Port Harcourt.
He said that the impending shortfalls in pricing and availability might last longer than expected.
According to him, before now, the directive of the federal government has been that the buying rate for independent marketers should be the official deport price of N148.77.
He noted that it was only when marketers bought at stipulated rate of N148.77 that they were able to sale at N165 endorsed by the Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act (PDPRA).
“But if we now buy at the current rate of N163, there’s no way we can sell at N165 with just N2 margin.
“It is therefore, anticipated that marketers buying at N163 from the depots will sell between N180 to N190 respectively,” he said.
On increasing cost of AGO, the chairman said that there is an upshoot in the price.
“As at today, AGO is sold for about N800 as against N180 it sold early this year.
“In a short while, AGO had risen from N180 to N300, then N400, N650 and now N800 and above with indication that it may hit N1000 and above in the coming weeks and this is quite unfortunate,” he added.
Obele, who was also the Rivers State gubernatorial aspirant of the African Alliance Congress (AAC) in the recently concluded party primaries attributed the challenges in petroleum products pricing and availability to fuel importation policy.
“This is because our refineries are not working and Nigeria has been importing petroleum products from the international market for a very long time.
“Nigerians shouldn’t blame marketers over impending shortfalls in petroleum pricing, availability and supply.
“The Minister of State for Petroleum had yeastaday addressed Nigerians without clarity on efforts to ensuring speedy intervention in the current issue on pricing.
“This invariably means that the current scarcity may last longer than expected,” the IPMAN boss said.
He, however, advised Rivers residents against panic buying as he said that the state had sufficient product in stock at the moment.
“I want to state that residents of Rivers have no reason to engage in panic buying at the moment as the scarcity isn’t affecting the state.
“However, if the issues are not quickly addressed in seven days, the state will begin to suffer gross product shortage and scarcity as seen in Lagos, Abuja and other states of the country.
“This is because private deport and all our buying sources are beginning to sell for as much as 163 per liter as at today.(NAN)