The unending scarcity of the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) has been blamed on increase from cross-border demand, according to the Major Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN).
The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) yesterday witnessed a worsened situation of the dearth of the product as most of the retail outlets were not opened to customers.
MOMAN Executive Secretary, Mr. Clement Isong, who spoke with The Nation on phone, said despite the volume that the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) is supplying, the demand for the product keeps rising, suggesting there is increase in demand from neighbouring countries.
Asked whether he suggested that there was influx of demand from neighbouring countries, he said “correct.” He denied the rumour that marketers were conniving to hike the pump price, insisting that the increase was simply due to increased demand. “It is not true that marketers are conniving to hike the price, it is not true, demand is high that is all,” he said.
Besides, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) revealed to The Nation that petrol ex-depot price was N240/litre yesterday. Its President, Alhaji Debo Ahmed described the price to The Nation on phone as exorbitant because NNPCL supply of the product was unable to match the demand.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Midstream & Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) website that usually contain the available stock and sufficiency has been down for over a week.
The information on the website is that it is being updated. Besides, the spokesman of the Authority, Mr. Apollo Kimchi that was asked to respond via text message did not reply. He did not answer The Nation’s call.
Similarly, the NNPCL Chief Communications Officer, Malam Garba Deen did not respond to The Nation’s call and text message. The Nation however observed yesterday that only very few retail outlets vended the PMS, although they sold it at 180 per litre, amid endless queues.
There were also remote areas like Byazhin Across in Bwari Area Council where our correspondent observed that petrol has been sold for N350/litre. Meanwhile, blackmarketers sold the product for about N4,000 per litre along major expressways like Kubwa expressway and Nyanya to Orozo road where our correspondent monitored the petrol market.