By Prince Okafor
Following the panic buying and scarcity of fuel, including the general confusion after the importation of over 90 million litres of off specification Premium Motor Spirit, PMS (petrol) into the country, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, NMDPRA, has said there was no need for the current pandemonium.
The authority said there was 20 days sufficiency volume of petrol in the country, as about 300 million litres of petrol is being discharged at the Apapa Jetty, while a 39,000 metric tonne-vessel was waiting to offload the product.
NMDPRA Chief Executive Officer, Farouk Ahmed, gave the assurance at a stakeholders meeting comprising Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, MOMAN; Depot and Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, DAPMAN, and Nigerian National Petroleum Company, Limited, NNPC, in Lagos.
He stated that a technical team has been set up to manage the development.
In his words: “Today, I am happy to say that loading is ongoing at various depots in the country.
“We have been able to identify, isolate and quarantine the limited PMS that was affected by the methanol volume discovered.
“At the moment, six vessel ordered by the NNPC, arrived the country in the last few days, carrying a total volume of 300 million litres.
“This is a means to close the gap that was created by those affected volume of petrol we have withdrawn from the system.
“Today, we have about 20 days sufficiency of petrol in the country. Our ideal is to have 30 days volume level.
“Because of the concern, we have to withdraw those vessels which created this gap of 90 million litres to 20 days sufficiency.
“But with aggressive importation by the NNPC, this gap will be mitigated in the next few days, according to data we obtained from the NNPC program.
“Loading is ongoing in most of the depots that have confirmed one specification material, so there is no need to panic.
“Between now and tomorrow(Wednesday), the off specification product will be cleared.
“Currently, there is 39,000 Metric Tonnes, MT, vessel that is about to discharge at the Apapa Single Point Mooring, ASPM, and this vessels will be providing products to major oil marketers, including OVH, TotalEnergies, 11 plc, Conoil, and Ardova, according to loading program received from MOMAN.
“So once these vessels complete discharging and start pushing the products to marketers, I believe Lagos will be cleared of shortage.
“We have gotten that assurance from the marketers.”