The Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA) has dismissed claims that marketers are hoarding petroleum products, instead laying the blame for the nations ongoing fuel scarcity at the feet of state-owned

In a statement signed by the association's executive secretary, Olufemi Adewole,  it said the current crisis is as a result of the corporation assuming the role of 'sole importer'.

The statement further rejected allegations that marketers are hoarding products to sabotage the economy, revealing that the depot of its members are currently empty.

The statement read, "It is on record that any time NNPC assumes the role of sole importer there are issues of distribution, because it is marketers who own 80 percent of the functional receptive facilities and retail outlets in Nigeria.

"Historically, DAPPMA members imported about 65 percent of the nation's total fuel consumption. Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) imports about 15 percent and PPMC/NNPC imports the balance of 20 percent.

"However this scenario changed drastically due to several challenges faced by marketers. Our members' depots are presently empty. However, if the PPMC/NNPC can provide us with petrol, we are ready to do 24-hour loading to alleviate the sufferings of Nigerians and for the fuel queues to be totally eliminated.

"Sadly, some people have blamed marketers for hoarding products. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth.

"Hoarding is regarded as economic sabotage and we assure all Nigerians that our members are not involved in such illicit act.

"We, petroleum products marketers, do empathise with all Nigerians who are going through difficulties at this time by spending hours on fuel queues because of the current fuel scarcity due to no fault of theirs."

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Fuel scarcity

The country has been plagued with the crippling crisis of fuel scarcity since the opening week of December, with fuel queues at filling stations growing longer every passing day.

The NNPC has made several promises to solve the problem with the commission blaming the problem as a sabotage by marketers who are hoarding fuel.

On Sunday, December 24, 2017, a combined team of the NNPC, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and security agents uncovered illegal reservoirs of fuel in Abuja.

Hundreds of jerry cans, 200-litre drums, and 500 litre tanks were uncovered in a sting operation by the team in the city center.

Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr Maikanti Baru, said it was saddening to make such discoveries in the city center when less than 500 meters away, motorists were on endless queues.

Last week, Baru had revealed that the corporation's one billion litres of PMS cargo imports has started to arrive and would ease the burden on Nigerians.