Allegations of diversion of 16.6 billion litres of fuel to neighbouring nations have sparked among between oil marketers and depot owners.
A top official of the Depots and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria, who craved anonymity, alleged that fuel scarcity was partly due to the diversion of products to neighbouring countries by marketers.
According to the source, about 46 million litres of petrol are being diverted daily.
This means about 16.6 billion litres are allegedly being diverted annually.
Findings showed that Nigeria consumes 60 million litres of petrol daily.
“We had a meeting with the PPMC some weeks ago, and part of the complaints was that the volume we load is too high, forcing them to reduce the volume they give to us.
“From their records, they said marketers loaded 106 million litres per day as of April. Nigeria consumes 60 million litres per day, where are the remaining litres of fuel going?
“They are taken outside the country. That’s a product Nigeria is paying heavily to subsidise, and marketers are busy taking it out and denying Nigerians full benefits of what they pay for,” the source said, according to The PUNCH.
The diversion allegation came on the heels of the return of long queues at filling stations across the country.
On Wednesday, petrol was sold above N175 per litre, and as of Thursday, the price had increased to N180 per litre.
The former chairman, Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, Tunji Oyebanji, said, “Our members are law-abiding and can never engage in such activity. Our members own 33, 000 stations in the country, and we move about 50-60 per cent of products available for consumption. So, we are opposed to smuggling because it causes a huge problem for the country.”
The Executive Secretary, MOMAN, Clement Isong, said its members operate a fully integrated business model, adding that it would be impossible to smuggle products out of the country.
“They know who they are accusing, and it’s definitely not our members. We buy products from the NNPC to our depots, and then distribute them to our stations. So, they can’t be accusing major oil marketers of diversion because we run a fully integrated business model”, he said.
“If it is true, then, it takes two to tango”, National Operations Controller, The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, Mike Osatuyi said when asked to react to the allegation.
Osatuyi denied the claim that IPMAN members were responsible for the smuggling of petroleum products to neighbouring countries.