There is a strong indication that the current scarcity of the premium motor spirit (PMS) popularly known as petrol will worsen, as only two vessels with 41,700 metric tons (about 56.6 million litres) are expected to berth at the Lagos ports.
As stated by the shipping data released by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) yesterday covering November 27 to December 2, 2015, out of the 41 vessels being expected, only 2 are laden with fuel (PMS).
The two tanker vessels, STI WEMBLY and OLUWASEUN, measuring 184 metres and 150 metres are expected to discharge at SMB and Ijora facilities respectively today.
The figure is compared to 147,600MT (about 201.4 million litres) of PMS which was the volume awaiting berth at the jetties as at this period last month.
The 56.6 million litres fuel carried by the two vessels is just enough for the country’s consumption for one day, as Nigeria’s daily fuel consumption figure stands at 41 million litres, indicating that the product is not coming in.
The figures confirm fears that the marketers are not importing the product, as was indicated by recent reports that the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) have stayed away from importation of fuel due to non-payment of outstanding subsidy claims by the federal government.
NPA stated that the expected ships contained general cargoes, containers, steel products, buck wheat, rice, bulk sugar, bulk urea, crude palm olein, bulk gypsum, kerosene, diesel, and petrol.
Other items contained in some of the ships include buck wheat, bulk fertiliser, general cargoes, bulk sugar, steel products, containers, soda ash, butane, petrol and bulk gas.
Recall that Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) on Thursday stated.that non-approval of marketers subsidy payment by the National Assembly may trigger another round of crises in the coming week.
Obafemi Olawore, Executive Secretary, MOMAN who served this warning stated.that non-passage of the subsidy payment by the National Assembly could hinder petrol supply during the yuletide season, adding that marketers had exploited all avenues to ensure speedy approval of the money to avoid total shut down of operations.
The secretary however, appealed to the the national assembly to promptly approve the N466 billion supplementary budget to save the country from persistent fuel scarcity.
As stated by him, the supplementary budget has been sent to the Senate and House of Representatives by the Presidency.
“We hereby appeal to the Senate and House of Representatives to as a matter of urgency pass promptly the supplementary budget as the volume of product in the system in the country has dwindled to almost zero.
“It is obvious that as Christmas and New Year draw closer and with the volume of traffic normally experienced during the period more fuel will be consumed, thereby increasing demand.
“The private sector that imported about 60 per cent of that national consumption is now incapacitated due to lack of funds, lack of support from banks to open letters of credit and lack of foreign exchange to liquidate matured letters of credit,” he stated.
Olawore stated.that urgent passage of the pending marketers subsidy claims by the National through the supplementary budget would arrest the going incessant fuel scarcity in the country.
He stated that about N270 billion is being owed by Federal Governemnt on subsidy, foreign exchange and interest, adding that N413 billion was subsidy debt owed from August 2014 to September 2015, while additional N256 billion on foreign exchange and accrued interest still pending.
“In order to put an end to the current scarcity immediately and to avoid confusion and chaos during the upcoming season it is imperative that the National Assembly treat as a matter of National urgency the supplementary budget presented to it by the Presidency.
“Payment of the outstanding subsidy arrears will give marketers the impetus to import and assist PPMC in making product available nationwide for a hitch free yuletide season.
“Immediate approval of the supplementary budget would enable government to pay outstanding arrears that have accrued from August 2014 to September 2015.
“We wish to remind our distinguished Senators and members of the House of Representatives that the least time to open Form M/ Letters of Credit, book cargoes, sail vessels to arrive Nigeria plus discharge time at the jetties would take about twenty one.”