Scarcity of premium motor spirit (PMS) looms in the country as a lot of product depots have run out of stock and are unable to restock as landing cost of the product has risen to N720/litre.
21st CENTURY CHRONICLE observed that in Abuja, many petrol stations are closed, saying they do not have products, while the few that are open are already witnessing queues.
Speaking at the National Executive Council meeting of the Natural Oil and Gas Suppliers Association of Nigeria, in Abuja on Thursday, the National President, NOGASA, Benneth Korie, said a lot of depots were presently dried up or out of stock.
He said, “Depot owners are so terribly affected by the increasing cost of crude oil and exchange rate, to the extent that many depots are practically deserted as their owners are unable to secure bank loans to fund their business due to high-interest rates.”
Korie lamente that banks are not willing to guarantee funds release to stakeholders as a result of the difficulty, instability and galloping rates of foreign exchange and high cost of the dollar.
“Many depots are presently dried up or out of stock, and this is no gainsaying as it is evidently verifiable.
“Worst hit are filling stations whose owners find it extremely difficult to secure funds to procure products for their retail outlets. Both the independent and major marketers are so terribly affected.
“As of today, filling stations are shutting down in great numbers on a daily basis and dealers are going out of business, with many more on the verge of bankruptcy because of their inability to secure funds to facilitate orders for their stations.”
Korie appealed to the government to urgently come to the aid of the industry to save it from an impending colossal collapse, which would result in a more devastating blow to the economy at large.