Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru in a brief chat with Bloomberg's Manus Cranny on the sidelines of an oil and gas Conference in Abu Dhabi last week
Even as the 2019 general elections draw near, there are allegations that the Minister of Petroleum who is the presidential candidate for the All Progressive Congress (APC) President Muhammadu Buhari has stopped allocation of petroleum products to some petroleum tank farms owned by Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) faithful.
Shipping Position Daily gathered that some of the petroleum depots belonging to Atiku Abubakar’s supporters have seized having products for the past six months while some have been dry for a long time. Some of the marketers includes; Royal, SPG, Ibeto, Acquitane among others.
A close source to one of the affected marketers, Ibeto Group who pleaded anonymity, told Shipping Position Daily correspondent that the company has just started receiving products again after getting an APC member who is a marketer to supply the tank farm with products.
He said “Everything has been dull for almost three months, but activities are gradually picking up at the depot. Diesel has always been available but Ibeto Tank Farm could not have it for almost three months”
“The people that were bringing the diesel before, Royal and others, they are affiliated to PDP, now that the government is off their hands; they could not get what they were getting directly to supply. But the present person now doing the supply is affiliated to APC”
“Those bringing the product to us before are however still optimistic, they believe that the baton would change hand because people will not vote Buhari, one of them assured me that come next year, they would come back fully because they believe that the baton must change hands from APC to PDP”.
The source pointed argued that though the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is in charge of importation and allocation of petroleum products to marketers, the APC is in control of the government with President Buhari as the minister of petroleum.
According to him, in issuing the depots allocation for importation, politics play an important role. He argued that the key people heading the NNPC; the Ministry of Petroleum, the overall heads of the PPPRA, PPPMC and the DPR, the political influence plays a major role.
He said “You cannot give food to your enemies to be able to drive you out of the system; instead, you give to your supporters who would be able to get more supporters for you”
“After importation, NNPC had to allocate the product to tank farms, there are so many tank farms without product, SPG has no product at all, it has been dry for a long time, Acquitane and a few others have not been getting product, whereas Sahara, Prudence. Others bringing product before can no longer come including Royal”
He further alleged that “during the Obasanjo regime, Ibeto was getting allocation directly from Atiku even for unlimited importation of rice and cement, but when Obasanjo got to know this, haven given the controls to Atiku, he received complaints from Dangote who complained while unlimited importation of rice and cement was given to Ibeto”
“Because of this complaint, they stopped the allocation to Ibeto and the company ran into problem and this is the same thing happening now, Ibeto is looking for a way now to turn one of his factory into a biscuit factory, the cement and rice bagging factory by the lagoon, the ban on local production of cement and rice affected him, he is now having problems even in paying salaries”, he said.