It was long queues galore at filling stations and little fuel to go around in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja on Monday, May 9, 2022. Laying the blame firmly at the feet of the federal government, oil marketers claimed that it was the government’s debts that had crippled effective procurement and distribution of oil.
If the statements made by the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (PMAN) are to be believed, the government owes the markets large sums of money to the tune of N100 billion. They claimed that the debt due on the petrol acquired by the defunct Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF), now renamed Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) had not been paid, despite continued demands and assurances that it would be done.
The Vice President of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Alhaji Abubakar Maigandi explained that the unpaid debts had placed several constraints on the ability of IPMAN members to purchase more oil. He said that if nothing was done immediately, the re-emerging petrol scarcity “has just started and will continue.”
He decried the fact that for over twelve months the NMDPRA had failed to offload any of the monies due to the marketers, stating that
“The scarcity has started because they are not paying. Marketers cannot lift the product because there is no money.”
No response has yet been made by the NMDPRA’s public affairs team save for a short statement made by Mallam Garba Deen Muhammad, the Group’s General Manager who admitted that there were indeed queues at stations and depots around the capital but denied the existence of fuel scarcity.
“There is no scarcity,” insisted Muhammad. “If you say there are queues you are right, but there is no scarcity.”