The Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA) has claimed that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) lied to Nigerians on the ongoing nationwide shortage of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) or petrol.
DAPPMA made the claim in a statement issued on Monday. Signed by its Executive Secretary, Mr. Olufemi Adewole, the statement rejected accusations of product hoarding leveled against DAPPMA members.
While DAPPMA explained that it can neither confirm nor dispute NNPC's claim of having sufficient product stock, the association said it can confirm that the products are not in the tanks of its members.
According to DAPPMA, there are always hitches in product distribution any time the NNPC assumes the role of sole importer of products. DAPPMA added that 80 percent of the country's functional product receptive facilities are owned by its members and such do not currently hold products.
"The NNPC imports and distributes products through DAPPMA, Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) and Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN). Our members pay NNPC/PPMC (Petroleum Products Marketing Corporation) in advance for petroleum products and fully paid up PMS orders that have neither been programmed nor loaded are in excess of 500,000 metric tonnes (about 800,000 liters) as at today and enough to meet the nation's needs at a daily estimated consumption of 35,000 liters.
Our members' depots are presently empty. However, if the NNPC /PPMC provides us with PMS, we are ready to do 24 hours loading/truck out to alleviate the suffering of Nigerians until the fuel queues are eliminated," said DAPPMA. The association maintained that the NNPC has been the sole importer of the product since October for various reasons.
Among these, DAPPMA said, is the fact that the country currently runs a fixed price regime without any recourse to subsidy claims. It noted, however, that the international price of crude oil is beyond its control. DAPPMA stated that the current price of PMS is about N170 per liter, with the NNPC, importer of last resort, absorbing the attendant subsidy on behalf of the Federal Government.
"We understand that NNPC meets this demand largely through its DSDP platform framework. However, due to price challenges on the DSDP platform, some participants in the scheme failed to meet their supply quota of refined petroleum products, especially PMS, to NNPC. This is the main reason for this scarcity," explained DAPPMA.
It added that the current exchange rate of naira to the dollar is N306 for PMS importation, stating that banks also charge interest at a rate above 25 percent.
It further stated that this situation puts the landing cost of PMS at N145 per liter, which requires any of its members that imports would have to resort to subsidy claims, a policy already abolished by the Federal Government.