The ongoing fuel crisis, which spelt a bleak Christmas for Nigerians, may take more time to abate.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), and theDepot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA), have continued to trade tackles over accusations of indebtedness and cause of the current scarcity.
The NNPC claimed the marketers were owing over N26.7 billion for product supplied. But DAPPMA shot back last night, saying none of its members is indebted to the corporation.
“DAPPMA is not aware of any indebtedness to PPMC (Pipelines and Products Marketing Company)/NNPC by our members,” the group said in a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES Thursday night. “The PPMC/NNPC does not transact business with marketers on credit.
“It is indisputable that DAPPMA members have paid for petrol supply (with bank funds) for over one month, the value of which is in excess of N90 billion, yet PPMC/NNPC had no cargo to allocate to them,” Mr. Adewole insists. “As such how can we be held responsible for hoarding?”
“We again reject any attempt to blame marketers for the shortfall in supply as it is not our making since NNPC has been the sole importer since October 2017.
The organisation said marketers had always sacrificed to keep the country running, despite over N600 billion debt owed its members, and over N800 billion owed marketers as a whole.
Last Tuesday, the Executive Secretary of DAPPMA, Olufemi Adewole, stirred the hornets’ nest with a statement accusing the NNPC of leaving his members’ depots empty of petroleum products while Nigerians suffered on fuel queues at filling stations across the country.
Mr. Adewole had put the blame for the current fuel crisis squarely on NNPC’s laps for taking up responsibility as sole importer of petroleum products despite DAPPMA members owning 80 per cent of the functional fuel storage facilities and retail outlets across the country.
DAPPMA consists all members of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, MOMAN, as well as the independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN.
In a swift reaction on Wednesday, the NNPC hit back at DAPPMA, accusing its members of insincerity, particularly with their claim that the fuel crisis was a result of its members being denied supply of products by the corporation.
NNPC spokesperson, Ndu Ughamadu, said the corporation supplied enough products to DAPPMA members to take care of the current shortages across the country.
“NNPC regrets that DAPPMA, which members had taken receipts of products from PPMC, a subsidiary of NNPC, and owe the company to the tune of N26.7 billion as at December 21, 2017, has the audacity to indict NNPC unjustifiably,” Mr. Ughamadu added.
But the NNPC’s response also elicited further reactions by the marketers, who insisted the they have not been receiving products from the NNPC subsidiary, PPMC, despite paying in advance.
On Tuesday, Mr. Adewole had alleged that DAPPMA usually paid up in full for products orders, without receiving allocations, because their consignment, currently in excess of 500,000 metric tons, MT (about 800,000,000 litres). have neither been programmed, nor loaded.
Denying that DAPPMA’s statement was an attempt to join issues with PPMC/NNPC, whom he described as “partners”, the executive secretary explained that his organisation only shed light on the issues surrounding the shortfall in current petrol supply handled solely by the NNPC.