Nigerians should be set to witness another round of fuel scarcity as some sea vessels are stuck on the coast of Nigeria, unable to unload the products they are carrying due to lack of payment and difficulty in finding dollars.
According to The Punch, about 75 ships carrying a combined total of two and a half million tonnes of fuel are waiting for oil marketers to source for dollars and pay for the petroleum products.
Some of the vessels are said to have arrived Nigeria over a month ago and have already made offers to buyers outside Nigeria out of frustration.
Speaking on the issue, an official of one of Nigeria’s major oil marketers’ associations said: “I am not surprised that vessels are stuck. What I believe likely happened is that so many of our members were given allocations for the second quarter – some for April, some for May and some for June.
“But because they have not been able to source foreign exchange, the people will not deliver until they are sure of getting their money. A number of those that were given second quarter allocations have not been able to source forex.”
The executive secretary, Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, Obafemi Olawore, denied any knowledge of any stranded vessel, saying that: “In any situation, there will be challenges and some people will not face any challenge. Some are importing; some are not. But the most important thing is, ‘Is the product available?’ I think so. It means those importing probably are more than those not importing.
“Foreign exchange is a challenge; there is no doubt about that. But people will import. It is their business, and they won’t want their business to collapse.”