Business Hilights
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Fuel scarcity looms as PEF withdraws staff from debtor depots’

There are strong indications that fuel scarcity is on its way back to the country following Wednesday’s withdrawal of officials of Petroleum Equalization Fund (Management) Board (PEFMB) from depots indebted to it.

Prior to the withdrawal action, the federal agency had warned members of the Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA) at an expanded management meeting on Monday chaired by the Executive Secretary of the fund, Ahmed Bobboi, that effective Wednesday, officials of PEF would cease to serve at indebted depots.

Industry analysts say PEF officials take records of loaded tankers for effective monitoring of product loading for the processing of payments to transporters on bridging cost differentials.

The development means that no tanker would attempt to load in the absence of PEF to avoid loss of PEF transport cost refund.

Explaining more, PEFMB said it has resorted to the action to compel the depot owners to defray debts running into billions owed to the fund.

Business Hilights gathered that Nigeria currently has about 84 oil marketing companies that make up DAPPMA.

Also, the group members own up to 80 per cent of the country’s functional product receptive facilities and are expected to make some statutory payments to the PEFMB from which it in turn pays marketers transport allowance from the funds collected.

Checks around Apapa Jetties on Wednesday afternoon showed skeletal services only in depots that don’t owe PEFMB.