By Obas Esiedesa, Abuja
Federal Government agencies and petroleum marketers have undertaken to end the crippling shortage of petrol across the country that has seen pump prices hit N285 per litre.
Speaking after a meeting at the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, NMDPRA, in Abuja on Thursday, the operators said the depots would work for 24 hours daily until the queues are cleared.
The meeting had in attendance officials of the Department of State Services, the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria, Independent Petroleum Marketers of Nigeria, National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas workers, National Association of Road Transport Owners, among others.
The Executive Secretary, MOMAN, Clement Isong, told journalists that operators would ensure that they implemented the decisions reached at the meeting.
According to him, “As these decisions are being implemented, the queues will subside. We have committed to work with NNPC to continuously improve operational efficiency in order to achieve operational excellence”.
On his part, the Executive Secretary, DAPPMAN, Femi Adewole, blamed the challenge for sourcing foreign exchange as one of the reasons for the shortage.
“The challenges to marketers, especially depot owners, were explained and the meeting agreed and actually noted the forex component challenge and its input into our cost, which we should in all ideal cases recover reasonably. That was agreed upon.
“We also agreed that based on the assurances of products given to marketers, provided by NNPC, we will ensure that, going forward, all depots work 24 hours, based on the security risks appraised.
“We will work 24 hours to ensure that the queues in town are reduced. Our retail outlets, spread nationwide, will also ensure that they sell 24 hours based on our security situation appraised. I want to assure Nigerians that going forward, they will be able to get fuel in filling stations without too much hitch or harassment.”
Speaking earlier, Chief Executive, NMDPRA, Farouk Ahmed, said all parties had committed to ensuring supply and clearing the queues within the given time.
“We’ve heard from all the stakeholders on each of their individual commitments to ensuring adequate supply and distribution of petroleum products. And they re-emphasised that the commitment is to take effect within 48 hours.
“So we are hoping that with the efficiency in the distribution, both by marine and trucking, in the next 48 hours the commitments will really start and hopefully we will see a positive environment, away from the difficult situation we are experiencing across the nation”.