Following the energy crisis that has engulfed Nigeria, especially the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and other states, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has kicked-off plans to import the Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) diesel to cushion the scarcity, The Nation learnt yesterday.
The Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) petrol has been very scarce not for shortage of supply, but largely due to the inability of the transporters to fuel their trucks with the expensive diesel that convey it from the coastal depots to Abuja and up north.
Besides, the highways are in a very sordid state, the IPMAN President, Alhaji Debo Ahmed, made these disclosures to The Nation on phone last night.
According to him, the association is already negotiating with its stakeholders on how to import diesel into Nigeria.
He was silent on the timeline and volume, which IPMAN is eyeing.
Ahmed noted that although the quantity will be large enough to cause a positive change in the ongoing energy crises in Nigeria, the Russian and Ukraine war would determine the quantity to a reasonable extent.
His words: “But I don’t think there is going to be a problem. It is not going to last longer.”
Products are coming in and they are discharging in the stations.
“But there is always this panic buying. NNPC said the product is available. So we are waiting to see how the whole thing goes.
Except some of our members who have depots that would apply.
” We had some discussions with some of the stakeholders and very soon we will get our way to probably import more of diesel down.
“We have had discussions with some of our stakeholders and very soon we will have some leeway to import the diesel into the country.
“We are not the only persons other marketers are allowed to import diesel. So, we are looking at very soon.
“It depends on what will be available because of the Ukraine war, there has been a lot of shortages across the whole globe because Ukraine and Russia are the suppliers of these products.
“Not that they are at war it becomes difficult so it depends on the quantity available at the end there.”
Asked why the marketers have been fond of the excuse of lack of forex as their setback, while the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) is the sole importer of the PMS, he said the quest for forex is for importation of diesel and not petrol.
He was emphatic that the Federal Government has adopted the NNPC Limited the only importer of petrol.
The President, however, noted that some members of the association had requested for forex for the importation of diesel that its market is open to them.
He added as an association, IPMAN is holding discussions with some major stakeholders on how to bring in the diesel.
Ahmed said “What they (marketers) are asking for, is forex for diesel. Diesel, too, is scarce. It is only for diesel because the Federal Government has taken upon itself that it is only NNPC that imports products into this country, especially the PMS. But the forex they are asking for is for diesel is not for petrol.
“But why is scarcity persisting in Abuja? The whole thing boils down to the availability of diesel. The cost of diesel is very high.
“Most of these transporters have to go to the Southern depots to evacuate product down to the north, especially Abuja.
” But of late, the NNPC really arranged in a way that product will be coming to Abuja that is why you have a little leeway for sometimes now.
“Now it has come to the point that probably the transporters have not been able to evacuate as much as they can.
“But I don’t think there is going to be a problem. It is not going to last longer. Products are coming in and they are discharging in the stations.
But there is always this panic buying.”
NNPC said the product is available. So we are waiting to see how the whole thing goes. Except some of our members who have depots that would apply.”