Saturday, 23 April 2016

Fuel scarcity: Marketers allegedly divert over 140 trucks of fuel

An investigation carried out by New Telegraph newspaper has revealed that over 140 truck-load amounting to about 4.62 million litres of  petrol meant for Lagos did not get to filling stations for which they were meant for. 

According to the report, petrol marketers have, in the last 10 days, diverted the volume, which was scheduled to be off-loaded petrol stations in Lagos and environs into border towns between Nigeria and Republic of Benin.

The report also revealed that the truck-load petrol in the last ten days landed in some suburb of Lagos and Ogun states in what a source described as “where the product can conveniently be sold at cost above the pump price without harassment from DPR or protest from motorists.”

Checks by the New Telegraph revealed that the Loading schedules of all the major depots and seven indigenous depots in Apapa showed an average cumulative loading capacity of 200 trucks daily.

But a major marketer who spoke on the condition of anonymity picked holes in the figures and said due to the shortfall in fuel importation by the NNPC,  “depots in Apapa are doing less than 100 due to shortage of product for thru put.”

His words: ”Major marketers, except MRS, are doing their normal loading; no extra-loading, whereas the seven independents that are being used by NNPC for its thru put scheme, have instruction from the minister and GMD to be doing extra loading.

“In all, we truck out about 100 tankers every day for the past 10 days out of which Lagos get a lager volume.

”The supply to Lagos in the last 10 days should have tremendously doused the scarcity in Lagos by now, if not for the on-going high-wired racketeering.

”Capital Oil and Aiteo have not loaded since Monday due to shortage of supply from the NNPC but this did not stop the loading and trucking out of 100 tanker daily.

”The situation at the Capital was noticed after an accident close to the facility in which three marketers were crushed to death by a tanker penultimate Thursday.

”Before this a protest had earlier been held by marketers with about 200 truck loading tickets at Capital Oil when NNPC allegedly directed that the depot should be loading trucks for it mega stations while the marketers’ loading programme should wait until when another vessel would arrive.”

A visit to the border towns of Ilashe, Idiroko, Owode, Ajilete and along the Sango-Ota- Idiroko road shows that petrol stations around the axis petrol in surplus.

An independent marketer who spoke on the issue but refused to disclose his name said: ”We are in business my brother and truth of the matter is that we do not buy at the ex-depot price in Apapa.

”Aside from this, motorists in Lagos are troublesome; they will not only refuse to buy above the pump price but also cause problems for any station that attempts to sell above the price.

”We have complained and nobody comes to our rescue. So, it makes more economic sense to buy at above ex-depot price with Lagos ticket and resell to another station which will be able to sell above the pump price-of course they are usually at Lagos and Ogun states’ suburbs and as far as border towns between Nigeria and Benin Republic,” he said.

According to the NNPC’s petrol daily supply nationwide schedule, twenty one import vessels laden with a total volume of 844.1 million litres have been confirmed to arrive in the month of April.

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