Friday, 17 June 2011

Increased trucking charges lead to fuel shortages in Abuja

Long fuel queues have returned to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, and neighbouring Kaduna State, following the apparent scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) fuel in these cities.

The fuel scarcity has been attributed to a stand-off over payment of the recent 45 per cent increase in the freight rate approved for transporters of petroleum products by the Federal Government.

The Federal Government increased the transport claims paid to fuel truck owners from N2.75 per litre to N3.99 per litre. The Federal Government, whose obligation it is to pay these claims for long-distance transportation of fuel, directed petroleum marketers to pay these claims in its stead, promising that the marketers would be reimbursed through the Ministry of Finance.

The marketers have refused, however, insisting that the Federal Government either pays the claims itself or allows them to effect an increase in the pump-price to enable them to recover their costs. This led to a stand-off, resulting in the unavailability of fuel at most filling stations in the FCT and Kaduna.

Recently, however, the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency invited all stakeholders, including the management of the Petroleum Equalisation Fund, Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria, National Association of Road Transport Owners and the representatives of the Ministry of Finance to resolve the issue and bring an end to the impasse.

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© 2011 Menas Associates

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