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NNPC allays fear: Nigeria’s fuel stock not about to finish

BY UDEME CLEMENT
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) says Nigeria is not about to exhaust her fuel stock. The corporation spoke in response to the claim that the nation’s fuel stock would not last more than seven days.

lFuel sacrcity:Long queues still at petrol stations

It described the fear as misplaced and capable of causing panic buying even when the product is  available at different petrol stations across the country.

The spokesperson of Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC), a subsidiary of the NNPC, Mr. Raphael Ugwu, told Sunday Vanguard that the claim that the nation’s fuel stock would finish shortly  was untrue. “No body should listen to such rumour. Nothing can be more farther from the truth, he said.

Ugwu, who dismissed  the claim, warned, “Nigerians should not rush to store fuel, which is highly inflammable in their homes to prevent needless fire incidents  and loss of  lives and property. We are assuring everyone that government has  measures in place to ensure product’s availability in the country”.

However, the Western Zonal Chairman, National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Tokunbo Korodo, said  the nation may  run out of petroleum products  if the Federal Government does not step up fuel importation to ensure that the  products are available in the depots for the tanker drivers to lift.

Korodo told Sunday Vanguard, “NNPC is only importing little quantity, while lack of funds is preventing independent marketers from importing products.  Commercial banks are not ready to give loans because of the shake-up in the sector. The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) is complaining of profiteering, but, at the same time, finding it difficult to apprehend perpetrators  because products are not available. Government must tell the people the truth about the scarcity of products.

“Initially, between 200 and 250 trucks were loading products from the depots in a day, but, now, only 20 to 30 trucks are loading daily and 80percent of the  filling stations in Lagos are out of stock. Government told us last December that  they had enough products on the high seas, that people should not worry about scarcity. So, we asked  tanker drivers not to go on holidays in order to lift products, but they just wasted their time as the products never came.

The way out is for NNPC to import in large  quantities, and repair the refineries to boost local production capacity of petroleum products in the country”.

Sunday Vanguard findings at fuel stations in Lagos and Ogun States  revealed discrepancies in the prices of products, as most of them  sold above government approved pump price of N65 per litre. For instance, Total Oil  Ishaga, Agege was selling at  N80  per litre, African Petroleum (AP) along Lagos Ibadan Express Way, N100 while  NNPC mega station in Abeokuta adhered to the official price of  N65, but with long queues from the station premises to the road.

Also, outlets  in  Sango and Idiroko were selling  between N120 and N130 per litre. Other stations in  Lagos, including  Mobil, Conoil, Oando, Texaco,  dispensed products, but with long queues. The  station managers said the products were not sufficient to meet the demand of consumers.


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Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.