Fuel queues return to Lagos over N291bn subsidy debt


Fuel--700x336Fuel queues reappeared in major parts of Lagos yesterday, an indication that the N291 debt owed fuel marketers was already taking a toll on the petroleum supply chain.
From Egbeda to Lagos- Abeokuta Expressway, fuel stations refused to dispense fuel,while motorists queued in anticipation that they would resume sales.
The situation was chaotic at the Conoil station at National Bus Stop, close to the local airport, while long queue of cars compounded the traffic situation, extending to Ikeja under the bridge.
At Airport Road, no station opened, while those engaging in black market operations returned in their jerrycans to make brisk business.
At Second Rainbow Bus Stop, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) retail station did not dispense fuel.
A player in the downstream sector, who pleaded not to be named told Daily Sun that the situation may take a turn for the worse in few days, saying for now, only the NNPC was importing because major marketers have been forced to down tools due to the huge subsidy debt.
‘‘At my depot, we only got about 10,000 metric tonnes last week and that is just about 400 trucks. That cannot last us for this week, ditto for other depots that got last week. Unless government fulfils its obligations to marketers, the situation will not get better,” he said.
The latest move by 70 percent of marketers to suspend fuel imports was disclosed by the former Minister of Interior and Managing Director of Integrated Oil and Gas Limited, Mr. Emmanuel Iheanacho, at the opening of the 2105 Oil Trading and Logistics (OTL Africa) Downstream Expo in Lagos, yesterday.
Executive Secretary of Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), Mr. Obafemi Olawore, had, in June, raised the alarm over the inability of the Federal Government to offset about N291 billion in subsidy claims.
NNPC Group Managing Director, Ibe Kachikwu said during a meeting with MOMAN and the Depot and Petroleum Products Association, (DAPPMA) that he would explore new financing mechanisms to offset outstanding debts on subsidy claims, which the Federal Government owes petroleum marketers in the country.
He also explained that these are parts of the extant measures taken to ensure that supply of petroleum products in the country is sustained into the forthcoming yuletide. -The Sun


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