Importers of the essential household petroleum; kerosene have given an insight into why scarcity of the products has hit major cites in the country, saying that they have stopped importation owing largely to the failure of the federal government to pay outstanding subsidies on products that were previously imported.
As a result of the action of the importers, many filling stations no longer have the products as the sole importer is now the Petroleum Product Marketing Company (PPMC), a subsidiary of NNPC.
Our correspondent established last week that the only storage facilities where the product is available are: NIPCO, Zenon, Ibeto Oil and Gas, SPG and Sahara where ex-depot price has risen to N78 per litter.
Although Shipping Position Weekly could not ascertain the total indebtedness of the government to the fuel marketers, it was nevertheless confirmed that it runs into Billions of Naira, a development which is causing anxiety within the camp of importers.
However, to stem the rising tide of scarcity of the product, (PPMC) is reported to have given allocation to some depots to sell; a development which is responsible for the scanty supply. Shipping Position Weekly also gathered that the Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPRA) has introduced more stringent conditions insisting that henceforth, any petroleum importer that fails to obtain necessary permits to import from the PPMC will no longer receive subsidy money.
Giving an insight into the development , a manager at Rahamanniya Oil and Gas; a foremost importer of petroleum product, Mr Balla Danmanu who spoke with our correspondent said that: “it is not only kerosene that is being affected this way, it is the same thing with the PMS, if the PPMC does not give the permit for us to import, we cannot do so and you cannot just go ahead to bring in products when you are not sure or when there is no proper arrangement on how you will get back your subsidy from the PPRA”.
Even as he pointed out that it is only when the government has agreed to remove the money used to subsidize the product that importers can now sell at their different prices.