he Depot and Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria has said that most privately owned fuel distributors in the country are either not operational or battling with the Asset Management Company of Nigeria.
The Chairman of DAPPMAN and Managing Director, North-West Petroleum and Gas Company Limited, Mrs Winifred Akpani, said that the control of the sector by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has meant private depot operators have very little margins with which to invest.
“A lot of them are in one problem or the other with banks and the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria,” PUNCH quoted her as saying.
“In the past few years, there were quite a lot of investment in depot construction across Nigeria because opportunities presented themselves for people to make such investment.”
Akpani said 70 more than 70 per cent of depot owners in the country have gone under, stressing that the low profit margins has made it for operators to broaden the scope of their business.
“Subsequently, as government has continually overtaken the whole operations in the downstream sector, to a large extent, it has been very difficult for a lot of the depot owners to survive, especially those who had not made further investment into other areas of the sector.
“What has happened over the years is that with the NNPC taking over almost 100 per cent of imports until recently, and then fixing very low margins for operators who take these products for distribution, a lot of the depot operators have not been able to continue to operate.
“Some operators are actually under receivership, and as at the last count, we have less than 30 per cent of operators still in business. With that, it becomes impossible for any expansion or new investments.”