The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, on Friday, urged Nigerians to desist from panic buying of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, also known as petrol, stating that it had enough stock to serve the needs of Nigerians across the country even in the next 17 days.
The Executive Director, Commercial, Pipelines and Product Marketing Company, PPMC, Mr. Justin Ezeala, speaking in Abuja on the fuel supply situation across the country, stated that the country currently has 656.376 million litres of PMS in its various storage platforms, and equally expecting additional 756.99 million litres of the product before the end of November.
Ezeala, while giving the breakdown of the figures, explained that 66.81 million litres are in PPMC depots; 117.48 million litres in PPMC throughputs depots; while 427.971 million litres of marine stock are with Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, MOMAN.
In addition, he stated that 380.99 million litres are expected to be brought in by the PPMC through import, between now and the end of the November, while other marketers are expecting 376 million litres.
He maintained that the current stock available in its depots and reserves are enough to serve the country for 16 days, while the products that are being awaited in the next couple of days would serve the country for 35 days minimum, disclosing that the NNPC and the PPMC have increased fuel supply to Abuja and environs and also across the country and would lift about 180 truckloads of PMS to Abuja from about 135 trucks daily.
To this end, he encouraged Nigerians to avoid queuing for fuel if they have no urgent need to buy the product.
The Executive Director further encouraged the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, to go out to the field and carry out enforcement activities and ensure that stakeholders adhere strictly to the laws of the country.
Speaking further, Ezeala also encouraged Nigerians to explore the opportunities presented by the social media to check sharp practices of oil marketers, stating that Nigerians can study its daily dispatch reports to filling stations, take photographs of stations engaged in sharp practices and send same or complaints to the PPMC hotlines — 08057008021, 08052195801 and 08100941174.
According to him, “It is unacceptable for marketers to sell above the stipulated selling price and to hoard the product. We need to take back this country. The culture of Nigerians queuing and struggling to buy fuel when Christmas approaches or in time of holidays is unacceptable and should stop. The country belongs to us all.”
He said the NNPC had entered into a number of strategic alliances and introduced a number of initiatives to ensure the smooth supply of petroleum products across the country.
Some of the initiatives, according to him, include publishing the details of PPMC Depot Managers and key officials, while also publicizing details of products lifting and deliveries, giving the quantity and names of the various petrol stations involved across the country.
He stated that the NNPC has met with oil marketers on ways to address the fuel crisis situation and has also met with officials of the Nigerian Navy to explore the possibilities of moving large vessels of PMS to Warri and Port Harcourt ports due to the traffic challenges experienced in loading in Apapa.
“The NNPC is working with State Governments to ensure increased monitoring of PMS supply across the states, while stating that its staff are working round the clock to ensure adequate supply of PMS nationwide, especially during the Yuletide season.“Also, the NNPC has met with the Inspector-General of Police over the persistent gridlock at Apapa, noting that the Inspector-General has promised to set up a permanent team to deal with the situation once and for all.”
Some of the factors responsible for the scarcity and poor products supply include the menace of pipeline vandalism, the perennial gridlock in Apapa, Lagos; hoarding and diversion of petroleum products and the challenges brought about in the interface with other government agencies in the discharge of petroleum products at the ports and at depots Ezeala said.
“The NNPC has not been able to transport petroleum products through the country’s pipeline over the last 6 months due to persistent vandalisation of the pipelines, stating that this was in spite of the fact that the country has one of the best pipeline network in Africa,” the director lamented.