The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has explained that the decision of some of its members to shut down their operations was because they no longer want to operate at a loss as well as not want to operate under hostile conditions.
The closure of these petrol stations has led to the scarcity of the product and the appearance of long queues of vehicles at these stations on Monday.
This new development was confirmed by the Chairman of IPMAN, Lagos Satellite Depot, Ejigbo, Mr Akin Akinrinade, to journalists in Lagos.
Akinrinade said while the government had fixed N165 per litre as the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), the current realities in the market showed that the minimum the product should be sold at a retail price of N180 per litre at the fuel stations.
Akinrinade said that the current scarcity being witnessed in Lagos is because a majority of petrol stations in the state are owned by IPMAN members who are finding it difficult to operate in a hostile environment.
He said: “As you can see, the queues are back and this is the second time we are witnessing it this year.
“However, this one is peculiar in the sense that for a particular reason, IPMAN members decided to shut their stations. “This is not because we are on strike, but because we can no longer do business under this condition.”
Akinrinade said IPMAN members ought to be getting supply from the Pipelines and Product Marketing Company (PPMC) and had made payments of over N1 billion since October 2021.
He said the products were yet to be delivered forcing members to patronise private depots for products while at the same time servicing loans borrowed from banks for their money with PPMC.
The IPMAN boss said, “Now, these private depot owners have increased the ex-depot price of PMS from N148.17 to N162 per litre. That is the amount they are selling to us.
“When you factor in the handling charge, transportation and running cost of our stations, you will see that even within Lagos, the minimum we can retail petrol is about N180 per litre.
“We want Nigerians to know that IPMAN members are patriotic citizens and we are not out to sabotage the effort of government because we know this hike in petroleum products prices is not peculiar to Nigeria.
“The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine has disrupted the supply chain and the Nigerian government is doing its best to mitigate its impact on our nation.”
Akinrinade, as part of the solution to the problem, urged the government to direct the private depots to revert to the old ex-depot price for PMS or deregulate the downstream sector to allow market forces to determine the price.He also asked the federal government to speed up the rehabilitation of the nation’s refineries in order to increase the domestic refining capacity as well as called for the resumption of pumping products through the PPMC Ejigbo depot, which would enable IPMAN members to get supply at a cheaper cost.
It had been earlier reported that fuel scarcity had returned to some parts of Lagos, as long queues of vehicles resurfaced in some filling stations along Lagos Ibadan expressway, Ikorodu road, and Ikoyi on Monday.
It was reported that while several filling stations were shut, there were unusual long queues of vehicles at a few filling stations in Berger, Alausa, Ojodu, Ikoyi, Obalende and Victoria Island on Sunday evening and Monday morning trying to buy petrol.