Oil marketers have given three conditions for continued supply and distribution of petroleum products, as shortages crept in once again with fuel queues noticeable in some parts of Abuja, Lagos and other cities nationwide. The conditions are that Federal Government pay outstanding subsidy claims by month end, intervene for the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to release foreign exchange to marketers and intervene with commercial banks to grant credit lines to marketers.
It was gathered that the conditions were part of the agreements reached yesterday at a crucial meeting in Abuja, with the management of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC. According to a dependable source, “NNPC simply told the public their own side of the story, without reflecting our own concerns.
“We (marketers— majors, independents and depot operators) met with NNPC management, and we made it clear to the Group Managing Director, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu that nobody has money to import anymore. We agreed that marketers will continue to do their best to ensure that products are available, but there is little we can do without money to bring in the products.”
Told that supply had been relatively stable in the last four months, the source said supply came mainly from NNPC. The source said:
“The refineries are bringing in something, NNPC is also importing, while marketers are bringing in only very little because of financial difficulties.”
He insisted that the resurgence of queues less than 24 hours after the agreements to ensure products availability was not sabotage, saying that it was only a matter of time before supplies tightened since marketers were hardly importing.