Nigeria is again battling fuel shortages which are slowly crippling Africa’s largest economy. Long queues have been seen at petrol stations across the country and the Petrol Pricing and Marketing Company (PPMC), which is largely responsible for the distribution of petroleum products, says it has been distributing 57 per cent more fuel than its required supply.
Managing Director of the PPMC, Esther Nnamdi-Ogbue, says the situation has become so desperate that it has been called in as the supplier of last resort since the beginning of last year.
“PPMC had to step outside of what is required from us. We are required to supply 48 per cent of natural supply and now over the last year, we have supplied over 109 per cent and we’ve done this since the beginning of last year,” says Nnamdi-Ogbue.
Nnamdi-Ogbue says the problem started with rumours of fuel prices being subsidised. This led to irregularities within the market.
“What that did was that the market immediately reacted. We had marketers not picking up fuel in the expectation that the price of fuel is going to be reduced,” says Nnamdi-Ogbue.
Nnamdi-Ogbue says that the president’s announcement of the $2.1 billion subsidy to be payed towards fuel has put pressure on PPMC as the supply demand has increased drastically.
“We’ve been supplying massively, yesterday for instance we supplied 35 million litres nationwide,” says Nnamdi-Ogbue.
Nnamdi-Ogbue says the president’s subsidy should make marketers step up to their responsibilities, which they’ve failed to do so thus far.