Oil marketers on Wednesday said the scarcity of petrol in many parts of Nigeria was not abating because of the difficulty currently faced by filling stations to restock their tanks with products.
Oil marketers has blamed that glitches encountered on the newly introduced Customer Express e-payment platform by the Pipelines Product Marketing Company for their inability to pay for and lift petrol.
As a result, scarcity of petrol persisted in many parts of the country due to inability of some filling stations to restock their tanks with products.
It was observed that the queues for petrol persisted in parts of Abuja and neighbouring Nasarawa and Niger states on Wednesday.
The President, Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria, Billy Gillis-Harry, said none of its members had the intention of making life difficult for Nigerians.
He said, “Our members are not able to restock. They are not able to restock their filling stations and the reason is because we are finding it difficult to make payments.
“Marketers are finding it difficult to make payments on the new PPMC payment platform. That is the challenge and it is the major reason for the scarcity of petrol now.”
He added that many retail outlets were not dispensing petrol because the product could not be sourced at the official ex-depot price of N148.6 per litre.
He said private depot owners dispensed the commodity at higher rates of N160/N163 per litre, which if purchased by most filling stations, would be sold at prices far above the approved pump price.
The PETROAN president said the e-payment platform was ordinarily supposed to be the way to do business but stressed that there had been severe broadband challenges.
He refuted claims suggesting that the scarcity was due to hoarding of products by marketers.
The PETROAN president said the petrol queues in Lagos were lesser than what obtained in Abuja and some Northern states because of the large number of private depots in the South-West state.
Gillis-Harry stated that the cost of petrol in Lagos was around N170 per litre, higher than the approved rate, because many retail outlets get their products from third party depots.