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Respite at last … as fuel queues thin out

UDEME CLEMENT
The measures put in place by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)  to ensure adequate  supply of petroleum products in the country and  end  scarcity of the products are yielding positive results  as queues are gradually disappearing from service outlets across the country.

Fuel station

Sunday Vanguard gathered that the corporation recently dispatched about 487 trucks to Abuja and Lagos where  consumption is  high in furtherance of its promise to end queues at  petrol stations in  seven days.

Also, the independent marketers  and major oil marketers have  been granted  permit to bring in premium motor spirit commonly known as petrol to ensure that products are available in various depots for  tanker drivers to lift.
Meanwhile, African Petroleum Plc  has  placed order for 10 cargoes of petrol  to ensure availability of the  products in the country. The national president, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Mr. Tunji Adeniji, said the return  of fuel queues  across the country was because importation of petroleum products into the country was left only for NNPC since the last quarter of 2009. He told Sunday Vanguard:

“It  was only in November last year that independent marketers were told to import. We were told to start importation only in November and by that time commercial banks were not ready to give out money anymore”.

Western Zonal Chairman, National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Tokunbo Korodo, said  the scarcity, which lingered for over three months, was caused by failure on the part of government to import sufficient products.

Korodo explained, “Procurement of petroleum products is the responsibility of government, while our duty is to ensure that tanker drivers lift the products from  depots and distribute to different parts of the country.

But in a situation where products are not available in the depots, we blame government for the lapse.” Findings by Sunday Vanguard  revealed that queues are no longer at filling stations in Lagos, as the outlets are dispensing products freely. The price of petrol, however, remained between N80 and N100 in most stations as against the official price of N65.


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