Nigerians may be out for another cycle of fuel scarcity as the shortage of dollars has started having its toll on fuel importation by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
Investigation revealed that in the past one week, some fuel stations have been finding it difficult receiving the products from major marketers and the NNPC depots.
Under the direct sales-direct purchase (DSDP) contractual arrangement, with selected oil traders and foreign refineries, there is supposed to be constant fuel in the country, but an official said scarcity of dollars had started to challenge the arrangement.
But the major marketers complained that scarcity of dollars had forced them to also rely on NNPC as the only surviving fuel importer, a situation that is feared may plunge the country into another fuel supply crisis.
Barely four months ago, the federal government adjusted the pump price of petrol upwards from N86.50 to N145 per litre to stabilise product importation and distribution, oil traders have raised concern over likely scarcity of the product.
With a naira going for N408 per dollar, there are indications that the price of fuel may rise to above N200, if the scarcity becomes real.
Already, some filling stations, mostly outside Lagos and Abuja were seen with vehicles queuing for the product.
However, the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, said the corporation had about 1.3 billion litres of petrol in reserves for any challenge.
Nigeria, though an oil producing nation is the only OPEC member country that imports finished products of its crude oil after exporting the commodity.
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