By Michael Eboh & Ediri Ejoh
ABUJA—The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, yesterday said the ongoing fuel scarcity in the country should be blamed on oil marketers, saying they were hoarding the product.
NNPC Group Managing Director, Maikanti Baru, who disclosed this yesterday, said the corporation had increased supply of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, also known as petrol, across the country from about 30 million litres to 80 million litres per day.
This is even as the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, in an unscheduled visit, forced some filling stations hoarding petrol in Lagos, to dispense the product.
The filling stations included MRS, Oando, Ascon, Conoil and Mobil at Ebute Metta
Baru said: “But we swiftly swung into action by doubling our supply nationwide. At the time the rumour started, we had about 30 day sufficiency. The normal daily supply to the nation is 700 trucks, equaling about 27 million to 30 million litres per day.”
The NNPC boss, who was quoted in a statement in Abuja, disclosed that the hike in the product supply became necessary after the current hiccup in fuel supply was noticed a few days back, adding that these measures would ensure that the fuel crisis comes to an end this week. According to the statement, Mr. Maikanti Baru, disclosed this shortly before the signing ceremony of a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, between the Corporation and the Benue State Government on the Agasha-Guma Bio-fuels Projects, in Abuja.
The biofuels project is expected to create one million direct and indirect jobs for Nigerians on completion and would also produce about 84 million litres of fuel ethanol annually. The NNPC said that it plans to mobilize to site by the first quarter of 2018. Baru blamed the current fuel crisis on the rumour about a planned increase in the price of petrol, which made some unscrupulous marketers, wanting to cash in on the situation, to suddenly start hoarding products. Baru noted that the NNPC had enough products sufficiency that will last up to 30 days, adding that at least a billion litre petrol laden cargoes were heading to Nigeria shores at the end of December, which would return the country to a 30-day-plus sufficiency.
Crude oil sales automation
Speaking on the automation of its crude oil sales processes, Group General Manager, Crude Oil Marketing Division of the NNPC, Mr. Mele Kyari, stated that the automation exercise which would be concluded in 2018 had enabled the corporation to achieve an end-to-end monitoring of every barrel of crude oil sold in the country. “Today at a click of a button we can tell you how much crude oil is sold, at what price, who bought it and where it has gone to among others,” he explained.