It was one of the unusual days in Lagos on Monday as many residents spent hours waiting on queues in filling stations at various locations in the state.
This was as a result of the scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly known as petrol which affected businesses which depend on the product for power due to the erratic supply of electricity in the country.
Amid fears that the scarcity might be a result of industrial action by members of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), the union said it took a decision to go on strike.
In an interview with Channels Television, the Lagos Zonal Chairman of IPMAN, Akin Akinrinade, explained the rationale behind the fuel scarcity.
“Members of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria IPMAN have shut down their stations, not because we are striking; we are not on strike,” he said.
“Rather, the business environment has been very hostile to us such that we can no longer do business under this condition.
For you to load a litre of petrol, you pay in N162 per litre.”
“You now have to add the cost of transportation which is between N6 to N8, depending on the distance within Lagos,” he explained.
“If it is outside Lagos, it is much more than that.
“So, if you add N8 to N162, you already have N170 and the government which is the regulator wants us to sell at N165; we have not even added the charges at the depot and the running cost at our stations.”
“You know what diesel says now, and you know how epileptic power supply is; we run on generator, using diesel at N800 per litre.
There is no station in Lagos that uses less than 50 litres (of diesel) per day.
“So, our members can no longer sell (petrol) at N165 per litre; in fact, there is no reasonable person in this business that can sell below N180 per litre, so it is not as if we are on strike,” he concluded.