Fuel Marketers Pay In Dollars To Transport Products Within Nigeria

A member of the House of Representatives, Hon Sergius Ogun, has said marketers are paying in dollars to transport petroleum products within Nigeria despite the Federal Government’s order against the practice.

Ogun, a member of an ad-hoc committee on petroleum downstream, disclosed this on Thursday while speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.

He was speaking on the persistent fuel scarcity in the country which has lasted for months.

The Department of State Services, last week, gave a 48-hour ultimatum to oil marketers to make the product available to Nigerians but there are still long queues at filling stations across the country with many of them reportedly selling for as high as N300 per litre.

Similarly, The House of Representatives on Tuesday asked the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited to end the current petrol scarcity crisis within seven days.

While speaking about the ultimatum, Ogun said: “I think this is doable in seven days. The challenge really is that there is a shortfall in supply. The suppliers were not willing to give the refined product because NNPC was owing them.

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“The mother vessels that bring the refined products are in Lagos and the daughter vessels are going there to take. You charter those daughter vessels with dollars. They said it used to be about $30,000 but now it’s about $60,000.

“Also, the NPA takes their docking charges in dollars, NIMASA takes their fees in dollars.

“I actually heard that there was a memo from the Villa by the late Abba Kyari, the Chief of Staff to the President, who met with the then Minister of Transportation and other government agencies and directed that they should start taking their tariffs and fees in naira but he was ignored.

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“These people [marketers] are going to the black market to buy dollars, because CBN is not giving them dollars, for these transactions with government agencies within the country.

“Now you are wondering why there is scarcity. NNPC is broke. They are not remitting money to the federation account, and they don’t have money to pay suppliers. They can’t deny this. If they deny, just ask them to bring their stock record for November, December 2020, November, December 2021 and this year.”

He said the Federal Government should dredge the river down south for the mother vessels to take the refined petroleum products close, adding that this would reduce the landing cost.

Ogun also said the president must be firm enough to dislodge the cartels in the oil sector who are driving the prices of the products high for their own selfish gains.

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