By Adewale Sanyaolu
As current fuel scarcity continues to bite harder, shortage of daughter vessels to evacuate Premium Motor Spirit ( PMS), popularly called petrol from mother vessels on the high sea appears to be worsening supply crisis, Daily Sun has learnt.
South West Chairman of the independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Mr. Tajudeen Adigun, in a telephone interview with Daily Sun, yesterday said the shortage of daughter vessels was adversely affecting the turnaround time of petrol evacuation.
Adigun explained that due to the shortage of the daughter vessels, it now takes about one week for such vessel to make a trip, thus compounding the challenges around petroleum distribution and evacuation.
The IPMAN boss said most of the depot owners were adversely affected by this development as the cost of chartering daughter vessels have risen astronomically in recent times.
‘‘You know the depth of our water is too shallow for mother vessels to berth. So what happens is that, they wait some kilometers away for the smaller vessels to evacuate petroleum products and this comes at an additional cost,’’.
According to the Executive Secretary of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), Mr. Clement Isong, the cost of hiring a daughter vessel to bring the product from onshore to offshore has now risen to $45, 000 per day as against the previous $20, 000 per day before now due to high diesel price.
This, he said, is aside other charges paid including the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) among other charges.
Adigun further added that the poor state of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) depots in South West most of which have not functioned due to the effect of pipeline vandals in the last two years is also a major setback.
He listed the non -functional depots to include; Lagos Satellite depot in Ejigbo, Mosimi, Ore, Ibadan and Ilorin, stressing that the dysfunctional state of the facilities was putting pressure on the little petroleum products available in Lagos as marketers will come from as far as Ilorin to load products in Lagos which is at variance with the original plan when these depots were established.
Meanwhile, there was pandemonium is some major bus stops yesterday as commuters resisted hike in the transport fare. At Onikan roundabout, commuters boarding to Ajah were engaged in hot argument with transporters as they resisted the N200 increase, to the route that usually costs only N500.