Lagos – Oil marketers in Lagos State on Tuesday said the distribution of imported petrol to filing stations has commenced nationwide.
The marketers in separate interviews in Lagos disclosed that vessels laden with imported petroleum products had berth at the high sea.
One of the major marketers anonymously said that the delay by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) in approving the first quarter fuel allocation to marketers, was responsible for scarcity.
He added that ships laden with petrol had started to berth since the early hours of Tuesday on the high sea.
The marketer said they would immediately begin the discharge the product into system 2B for channelling to all NNPC depots.
He gave Nigerians the assurance that the observed queues at filling stations would disappear by Thursday “when all stations would have received the product before the close of work on Wednesday.
“The queues in some filling stations in some states will soon disappear as the Federal Government has approved the importation of petroleum products.
“Petroleum vessels have started to berth at the high sea to discharge the product into the pipeline to depots.
“We are assuring Nigerians that the ongoing scarcity and queues will soon disappear,’’ he said.
The marketer advised motorists to remain calm and avoid panic-buying.
“Since the importation approval has been signed, Nigerians should expect prompt and effective distribution of petroleum products in all filling stations across the country,’’ the marketers added.
An independent marketer, who exonerated marketers of any blame, commended the Federal Government for its intervention in the clearing processes.
He said that the clearing process had become cumbersome and caused the experienced delay of ships in the high sea.
“I totally disagree with the insinuations that marketers are the ones hoarding the product at the filling stations.
“The real issue is in the high sea because to what extent can a marketer hoard the product in the filling station?
“In the high sea, we have 42 days sufficiency, so, how can a marketer hoard?
“The situation we have today has to do with logistics. That is the operations at the jetties, including the shore tanks.
“I am talking about the little problem we had one week ago which was the contraction in supply,’’ he said.
However, the management of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Monday injected additional three million litres of petrol into Lagos to ease scarcity.
The Acting Group General Manager, Public Affairs Division of the Corporation, Dr Omar Ibrahim, said that extra 33 million litres of petrol would be supplied to end the artificially induced scarcity.
“While we intensify direct monitoring of fuel stations across Lagos and its environs, we are providing extra volume of the product to eliminate the noticeable queues arising from the induced scarcity,’’ Ibrahim said.
NNPC has appealed to marketers and members of the public to refrain from hoarding and panic-buying. (NAN)