The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has suspended pumping of petrol to its depots to avoid losses due to the continued destruction of pipelines that convey products to the various facilities, Punch reports.

Report said the corporation now prefers to sell petrol in bulk to oil marketers who have the financial capacity, instead of pumping to the depots from where independent dealers could get their petrol supply.

It was gathered that petrol scarcity may occur in some parts of the country due to the incessant attacks on oil installations by Niger Delta militants, which is impacting negatively on the sector.

According to an executive member of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, (IPMAN), Mr. Dibu Aderigbigbe, members of the association are not supplied the product due to the non-availability of petrol at the NNPC depots.

“We are not being supplied products. There is no product in any NNPC depot for they are afraid of pumping petrol because of issues of vandalism. They don’t want to waste the product, because they know they have gone commercial and are aware that they can’t report any loss to the government,” Aderigbigbe told Punch.

He dismissed claims that IPMAN members were unable to pay outstanding funds needed before fuel could be supplied by the NNPC.

He said: “Some of our people have paid the difference, but there are no products in the depots. For instance, the Ibadan and Mosimi depots are empty, despite the fact that marketers have paid the difference for products in those depots.

“The excuse they (NNPC) give is that they don’t have products. But we know that they store their products in marine tanks and now sell to people who are ready to buy in bulk.”

According to a major marketer, failure of the NNPC to supply petrol to independent dealers might lead to scarcity in some parts of the country.

“Many independent marketers are being denied product by the NNPC and this is not healthy in that it may cause fuel scarcity in selected locations. We know that the corporation has stopped pumping to some depots and the reason for this is understandable, but their refusal to supply to other marketers is not in the interest of consumers,” the marketer who did not want to be named said.