By Michael Eboh
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, has commenced the publication of a daily petroleum products supply chart to check sharp practices by oil marketers across the country.
Speaking on the fuel supply situation in Abuja, the Executive Director, Commercial, Pipelines and Product Marketing Company, PPMC, Mr. Justin Ezeala, also described the kersosene subsidy programme as a ‘racket’ that provided an avenue for corrupt individuals to enrich themselves.
Ezeala lamented that despite the fact that the Federal Government subsidises the product, a number of dealers still sell above the regulated price, thereby, short-changing Nigerians in the process.
He added that government is working towards addressing the irregularities in the kerosene subsidy regime and is looking at other alternatives to kerosene.
On the issue of checking sharp practices in petroleum products supply, he said the Daily Dispatch Report, will details of all product deliveries and all the receiving stations across the country.
He said the report would be uploaded on the NNPC website for ease of access, adding that efforts are on to make the website interactive, so that Nigerians can make complaints and report sharp practices witnessed in filling stations across the country.
He called on the media and the general public to join Government in the quest to curb sharp practices in the supply of petroleum products across the country, by monitoring and reporting illicit activities by oil marketers.
He said NNPC has 513 retail outlets across the country, adding that it has adopted a strategy to ensure that the retail outlets have products to dispense to the public. He disclosed that NNPC had come to an agreement with other stakeholders that all the retail outlets operate on a 24-hour basis, while those that cannot operate round the clock due to security reasons, can operate on extended hours, from 5a.m. till about 10p.m. where possible.
He identified some of the factors responsible for the scarcity and poor products supply to include the menace of pipeline vandalism, and the perennial gridlock in Apapa, Lagos. Others are the 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.
He also said that NNPC and other stakeholders are working to synchronise the process of product discharge, especially with government agencies, as this will help address the issue of delay in products supply.
Ezeala lamented that NNPC had not been able to transport petroleum products through the country’s pipeline over the last six months due to persistent vandalism of the pipelines, in spite of the fact that Nigeria has one of the best pipeline networks in Africa.