EDITORIAL: Petroleum Marketers Creating Artificial Scarcity

Last week, Wednesday 23 February 2022 to be precise, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited made a graphic tweet of its Weekly National PMS Evacuation Report for the 14th-20th of February 2022.

According to a tweet by the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited, the petrol was distributed to Nigerians through retail filling stations from February 14 to February 20, 2022, representing an average daily distribution of 55.4 million litres that is 387.8 million litres in 7 days.

A breakdown of the NNPC Weekly National Evacuation Report released showed that 80 per cent of all the Premium Motor Spirit took place at 20 high loading depots, while 20 per cent took place at the other loading depots.

The NNPC said the top 20 high loading depots used were Pinnacle-Lekki, which evacuated the highest volume of 70.8 million litres; NIPCO, 22.6 million litres; and AITEO, 22.3 million litres.

Others include Swift, 16 million litres; 11 Plc, 15.9 million litres; Bovas Bulk, 15 million litres; and Frado, 14.6 million litres.

The NNPC named other depots to include Keonamex with 13.7 million litres; MRS Ltd., 11.9 million litres; Rainoil, 11.6 million litres; AYM Shafa, 11.2 million litres; and TSL, 11.2 million litres.

It continued, “Rainoil Lagos, 11.2 million litres; Matrix, 10 million litres; Conoil Lagos, 9.7 million litres; AA Rano, 8.8 million litres; Bluefin, 8.4 million litres; HOGL, 8.2 million litres; Ibafon Calabar, eight million litres; and Mainland, 7.5 million litres.”

Despite 387.8 million litres released into filling stations by the NNPC, the independent marketers of petroleum products have engaged in speculative acts of hoarding Premium Motor Spirit, in a bid to criminally increase the prices, cause artificial scarcity.

Even though the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited on Tuesday 15th February 2022 disclosed that its retail outlets with those of major oil marketers have commenced a 24-hours service to ensure that more motorists are attended to daily, major of the independent marketers have breached the agreement by shutting down their filling stations by 6 pm.

It is high time the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited read the riot act to marketers causing artificial scarcity resulting in economic sabotage because it is a criminal offence under our laws.

We also call on the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited to arrest the offending marketers, shut their filling stations and bring this ongoing economic sabotage to an end.