Nigerians may experience a challenging Christmas and end of year festivities as the lingering petrol scarcity may continue till next year.

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The South West Chairman of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Mr Tajudeen Adigun, who gave this hint, said there was a massive shortfall in supply by the importer of last resort, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL).

‘’Once there is a shortfall in supply, this will create disruption in the distribution channel and that is what is being experienced now,” he said.

According to him, history has shown over the years that the demand for Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) popularly called petrol is usually on the rise during the Yuletide.

He said people engage in a lot of intra and inter state travels during this period, saying any slight hiccup in supply will lead to fuel scarcity.

Adigun added that the shortage of daughter vessels was adversely affecting the turnaround time of petrol evacuation.

He explained that due to the shortage of the daughter vessels, it takes about one week for such a vessel to make a trip, thus compounding the challenges around petroleum distribution and evacuation.

The IPMAN boss said most of the depot owners were adversely affected by this development as the cost of chartering daughter vessels have recorded an astronomical rise in recent times.

‘‘You know the depth of our water is too shallow for mother vessels to berth. So what happens is that, they wait some kilometres away for the smaller vessels to evacuate petroleum products and this comes at an additional cost,” he said.

Executive Secretary of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), Mr Clement Isong, had said the cost of hiring a daughter vessel to bring the product from onshore to offshore is now $45, 000 per day as against the previous $20, 000 per day because of the high cost of diesel.

This, he said, is aside other charges paid, including the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) among other charges.