Independent Marketers Reveal Why PMS Is Still Scarce

Oil marketers on Wednesday said scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol was caused by activities of private depot owners.

However, the Federal Government, through its Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, is striving to stop the high PMS cost by depots, as it sealed seven of them recently for dispensing at outrageous rates.

It was gathered that independent marketers, who operate over 85 per cent of filling stations nationwide, were still finding it tough to access PMS, as many of them had decided to stop purchasing the commodity from private depot owners.

This is because many private depots get the product at the regulated price of N148/litre, but sell to filling stations at over N200/litre, making it tough for retailers to dispense at the approved pump price of between N179 and N180/litre.

Oil marketers stated on Wednesday that the product was still scarce despite the interventions of the NMDPRA, Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited and the Department of State Services.

The Secretary, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Abuja-Suleja, Mohammed Shuaibu, told newsmen that though the problem in the downstream oil sector had been identified, it had not been solved.”

Shuaibu added, “The DSS has intervened, as well as the NMDPRA and NNPC, but up till now the solution is not in sight. Allow those who have the supply chain of the entire country to access this product.

“About 85 per cent of the supply chain is controlled by independent marketers. They operate in the hinterlands and own most of the filling stations that are directly closer to the yearnings of the people at the grassroots.

“If you say Nipco, Matrix or Capital Oil have been designated to independent marketers to pick products at the regulated price, by the time they get the product, I can assure you that within a week, all the queues will disappear.”

The IPMAN official continued, “As it is right now, you can drive into a retail outlet in the city centres of Abuja and Lagos and get the product at the controlled price. But the moment you drive outside Abuja or Lagos, you face calamity in terms of price.

This, according to Shuaibu, was because the commodity was still scarce.

“If it is in surplus it is going to force the cost down, but when the demand is high and the commodity is not available, the law of supply and demand will take its course,” he stated.

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