The scarcity of refined petroleum products, especially petrol, may
continue across the country for the unforeseeable future because
marketers have stopped importing the product due to the reluctance of
the banks to provide them with credit.
It was also learnt that as of May 29, 2015, the amount being owed all the
oil marketers by the Federal Government was N291.7bn.
Our correspondent gathered that the refusal of the banks to provide credit
to the marketers had adversely affected the business of some of them, as
many were already contemplating leaving the venture.
Sources in the sector, who spoke with our correspondent in Abuja on
Sunday, said that the refusal of the banks to provide additional loans to
the marketers could be due to the Federal Government’s delay in paying
the huge subsidy debt being owed the fuel importers.
Although they admitted that the Nigerian National Petroleum
Corporation was currently the sole importer of petrol, the quantity of fuel
being consumed in the country was so high that the NNPC might not be
able to handle it solely.
“Banks are refusing to give some marketers loans to import petrol and
they are hoping that the present administration will intervene,
particularly by paying the huge subsidy debt, because the NNPC alone
may not be able to shoulder all the fuel need of Nigeria,” an official at
the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, who spoke to our
correspondent on the condition of anonymity, said.
Confirming this, the Executive Secretary, Depot and Petroleum Products
Marketers Association, Mr. Olufemi Adewole, told our correspondent
that members of the group were not importing petrol again, because the
banks had yet to open credit lines to them.