The Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has blamed the current fuel scarcity in some cities across Nigeria, including Abuja and Lagos, on strikes by petroleum tanker drivers and the Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA.
Victor Adeniran, NNPC’s Group Executive Director, Commercial and Investment, said this during a tour of petrol stations in Abuja on Saturday.
He said the strikes had effect on the movement of the fuel offshore and onshore.
He said the NNPC had made special arrangement to provide intervention trucks that would ensure adequate supply of petroleum products in the country.
“Since Thursday, we have made special arrangement for intervention trucks.
“If you go round the streets of Abuja, you will see that virtually all the stations are selling.
“As we are going extensively on this, you will see that queues will reduce,’’ he said.
Mr. Adeniran said that NNPC currently supplies 100 per cent instead of the 48 per cent supplied under normal circumstance.
He said the corporation embarked on the 100 per cent supply because other complimentary marketers were not bringing in products.
“As for the product, we have product, the minister gave instruction to ensure supply on a 30-day basis.
“As I am talking to you now, we have the supply for March and out of the 31 days in March; we have supply for each day.
“Nigeria’s consumption is one vessel cargo of 30,000 metric tonnes per day and so, we have 31 vessels already lined up for the month of March,” he said
According to him, that figure is aside the nine that are currently being discharged in various ports and jetties in Lagos, Warri, Port Harcourt and Calabar.
He added that NNPC was on top of the situation as one-day gap could create five-day problem in the country.
He said that petrol queues in Lagos had considerably reduced, adding that Abuja would be free by Sunday.
He appealed to Nigerians to bear with the corporation, saying that it was working hard to ensure that the refineries were back on stream.
He said that pipeline vandalism was a major hindrance to the operation of the refineries.
“The reason why the refineries are not working is because some of the pipelines that supply crude to them is not functioning.
“Port Harcourt is running because we are able to fix bonny- Port Harcourt line.
“As I speak with you, we are pumping crude from Bonny to Port Harcourt refinery,’’ he said
Mr. Adeniran noted that Kaduna was not functional because Warri which supplied product to it had yet to be fixed.
He said that with pipelines working, movement of products would be made much easier.
On marketers selling above the approved price, he said that plans were underway to apprehend and punish culprits.
He said the NNPC and the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) would collaborate to tackle the situation.
Earlier, Branch Managers of Total and Conoil filling stations in the Central Business District told journalists that they took delivery of products on daily basis and dispensed 24 hours.
Abasebaor Ogbagha of Conoil said the station had always received about six trucks daily and had continued to dispense to its customers.
“We have products we are even expecting three of our trucks. We sell 24 hours and it has helped to reduce the queue,’’ he said.
Also, Francis Odihi of Total filling station said that queues would soon disappear as the outfit had enough product to service its customers. (NAN)