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Written by on January 24, 2024

Frustrations are bubbling over at the pump again, with independent petroleum marketers under the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) accusing the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) of causing delays in fuel supply. The result? Boycotts of NNPCL and forced reliance on pricier private depots, pushing pump prices up and squeezing wallets across the country.

IPMAN National Vice President Hammed Fashola has fired off a sharp salvo, urging the Federal Government to intervene and review the current fuel distribution pattern. His plea? Give independent marketers priority. With a claim that IPMAN members own a whopping 80% of Nigeria’s filling stations, Fashola asserts their right to the “lion share” of fuel allocation.

This simmering fuel dispute boils down to a clash of priorities and claims. Marketers, facing the wrath of frustrated customers at their pumps, blame NNPCL for sluggish supply and point fingers at higher costs incurred by sourcing fuel elsewhere. NNPCL, on the other hand, likely has its own set of challenges and regulations to navigate.

Meanwhile, Nigerians caught in the crossfire grapple with the harsh reality of fuel scarcity and potentially inflated prices. The government, now facing pressure from both sides, must find a solution that ensures smooth fuel flow, fair distribution, and, most importantly, affordable prices for motorists.

Whether the answer lies in Fashola’s proposed distribution overhaul, improved NNPCL efficiency, or a combination of both, remains to be seen. But one thing is clear: the current fuel frustrations can’t remain untamed. A swift and effective response is needed to bring calm to the pumps and put a smile back on Nigerian faces.

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