Motorists and commercial cab operators in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, have continued to groan as the scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), also known as petrol, bites harder.
According to reports on Monday, January 23, 2023, the situation worsened at the weekend when some of the petrol stations selling the product shut their gates against prospective buyers, with independent marketers adjusting their prices to N300 as this was against the previous pump price of between N195 and N270.
It was observed that some of the few stations that belonged to major marketers have also adjusted their pump price to N190 against the previous pump price of N180.
Findings around some major roads in Ibadan in the early hours of Monday showed that scores of commuters plying major roads were stranded due to the ongoing fuel scarcity.
Some of the areas visited included Bodija, Sango, Sango-Eleyele Road, and Secretariat Road.
It was also observed that long queues are currently experienced in most petrol stations selling at N190.
A resident, who identified himself as Mr Ayanda in an interview, said that he bought the commodity at the rate of N190 in one of the petrol stations that belonged to major marketers after spending several hours on Sunday.
“I bought the petroleum at the rate of N190 at NNPP station at Express on Sunday. It took me several hours because I cannot go to the place where they sell at N300. It is too expensive.”
Another resident, Mr Sola Ogunrinde, however, said that he bought the commodity at the rate of N300 on Sunday.
“My son, I have decided to queue here because I cannot afford to buy at the rate of N300 again. I bought it at the rate of N300 yesterday. It pained me to the bone marrow.”
Deregulation remains the best solution to ending fuel scarcity-IPMAN
Meanwhile, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), said that total deregulation is the best solution to ending petrol scarcity.
Speaking with Vanguard at the IPMAN Headquarters in Ibadan the Oyo State capital, the chairman of the association, Alhaji Bukola Mutiu, linked the ongoing fuel scarcity across the state to the high cost of diesel as well as the inability of Oyo State-based petroleum marketers to load fuel directly from Ibadan depot.
He, however, noted that deregulation remains the answer to all challenges confronting the downstream sector and also allows all the players to key into the sector and import freely.
“Total deregulation remains the best solution to ending fuel scarcity,” he added.
“The deregulation of the downstream sector remains the only potent and lasting solution to scarcity.”
“But the cost implication of the policy will make the price of petrol too expensive for Nigerians, as deregulation will shift the burden from the government to users of the product.”
Speaking on the subsidy, Mutiu condemned payment of subsidy on petrol, adding that it is no longer sustainable.
“Subsidy regime does not allow competition, while monopoly is the language of petrol business as the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited is the sole importer, manager and distributor of petrol.”
“Subsidy kills efficiency in the procurement and supply chain of petrol business operations and deprives the government of huge revenue.”
The IPMAN boss further said petrol subsidy could have benefitted Nigerians but half of the assumed consumption found its way to neighbouring countries.
He said Nigeria’s petrol was cheaper at landing cost compared to neighbouring countries.
The IPMAN boss, however, urged the government to put all necessary palliatives in place to cushion the negative effects of the imminent increase in the price of petrol before removing the subsidy.
Mutiu noted that the leadership of the association has been managing the crisis for a very long time before the matter goes beyond control due to an increment in the price of diesel, as well as Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) otherwise known as petrol.
He said: “It is so unfortunate that all the depots in South West are not working. We can’t load from Ibadan depot here. We need to travel to Lagos or far East to buy from some local marketers that bought the fuel from NNPC.”
“Sometimes we buy at the rate of N158-N159 per litre and lately it has increased. By the time we add transport cost which is N18 per litre then you will see that there is no how we will sell at the government pump price of N165 and that is the reason why you see some of us selling above N180 per litre. Government should find a way to deregulate the oil sector.”
“We at IPMAN, we buy fuel and sell. We don’t hoard fuel because if we hoard, it doesn’t pay us. We are not contributing anything to fuel scarcity. We get our supplies from the PPMC.”
“Government should give us a level playground. We have ordered for a total shutdown of all filling stations across the state because some officers that claimed to be IGP monitoring squad have been intimidating and harassing our members for non-compliance with government regulation pump price.”