The current petrol scarcity facing the nation due to delay in subsidy claim payment and Petroleum products, marketers said the fuel scarcity could continue up until December.
They said with the approval of the N413bn subsidy arrears by the Federal Government still awaiting clearance at the National Assembly, there were other issues that involves some paper work and getting the forex equivalent of the N413bn payment.
The process, they said, could take a number of weeks to complete.
A marketer from Apapa, Lagos said:
“For the fact we have (marketers) stopped importation of product for some time now, there is obviously a huge gap in the supply. This gap must be closed for us to have normalcy in the supply chain. Truly, I don’t see this normalcy returning by December given the current happenings,” the marketer said.
The Chairman, Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, Lagos Zone, Alhaji Tokunbo Korodo, said the supply situation was unlikely to see much improvement as marketers’ confidence in the government had seriously eroded.
According to him:
“Although approval had been made, the actual payment of the subsidy arrears is a different ball game. With the way things are at the moment, it will take between three and four weeks for us to have a normalised market.
“As we speak, some marketers are still cautious when it comes to importing product under the subsidy scheme. Government needs to build the confidence of marketers so that they can fully go back into the business. Otherwise, the scarcity situation might soon become unbearable.”
One of the marketers, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said:
“In recent times, we have been having issues with getting enough forex for our deals. Nothing has changed in the regard. Now, we have a huge sum of N413bn entering the system. Loans will be paid in forex as well as payments for products from international suppliers.
“The Central Bank of Nigeria is not giving us a clear directive in this regard. We will need forex, but we do not know where to get it in this quantum. Right now, the truth is that marketers don’t know how to source forex with the recent CBN provision.”