By Udeme Akpan & Obas Esiedesa, LAGOS
The NNPC Limited has declared that it has in stock about 1.2 billion litres of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) which would ensure a robust supply of the product for at least 35 days.
Chief Corporate Communications Officer, NNPC Limited, Mr Garba Deen Muhammad, in a statement weekend, explained that the 2.1 billion litres represented 0.9 billion litres in all the land depots nationwide and 1.2 billion litres on marine vessels. He said the company “plans to close the month of March 2023 with about 2.8 billion litres, which is equivalent to 47 days of sufficiency.
“The appearance of pockets of queues in Abuja and some parts of the country is largely due to restrictions in businesses and movement, to allow for the conduct of the Presidential and NASS elections and enable Nigerians to exercise their civic rights.
‘’However, operations have now resumed at the depots and trucks are being dispatched to various parts of the country. We expect normalcy to be restored in the next few days.
“NNPC Ltd. and all its partners and stakeholders will continue to work together to ensure seamless distribution of petroleum products around the Gubernatorial and State Assembly elections.”.
However, checks by Vanguard, yesterday, showed that the situation has improved tremendously in Lagos and its environs, due to improved supply in the past few weeks and limited movement of goods and persons because of the ongoing elections.
Speaking in a telephone interview with Vanguard yesterday, the National President of the Independent Petroleum Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, Elder Chinedu Okoronkwo, said petrol supply would record continuous improvement in the coming weeks.
He said: “There were indications that many tanker drivers might have slowed down their operations because of the fear of being attacked by touts during the elections. Once the elections are over, there would be serious improvement nationwide.”
Similarly, the National Operations Controller of IPMAN, Mr Mike Osatuyi, said in another interview: “There is adequate supply for now in Lagos and environs because the imported vessels are still discharging the product.”
Also speaking, the Chief Executive officer/ES of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, MOMAN, Mr. Clement Isong, called on the players in the downstream sector to embrace automation in order to enhance transparency in the sector.
Speaking at a virtual workshop on world international data day in Lagos, weekend, he said: “Our position in MOMAN is that we are looking for the automation of the entire supply chain. It will mean everybody needs to invest in order to optimise their businesses.
‘’Eventually, the beneficiary is the customer. It is good for corporate governance. It removes people’s ability to steal. And the authority, NMDPRA, itself has got to invest in infrastructure for data gathering and has got to do a preliminary analysis of that data and has to put up that information on its website which investors, marketers operators, and everybody can access.
“On that basis, optimise the business and make investment decisions. It is fundamental to a deregulated system. It improves the quality of decision-making as well as transparency and eliminates bad behaviour as well as fraud and theft.”
Also in its Economic agenda to the incoming administration, the Director, the Centre for the promotion of Private Enterprise, CPPE, Dr Muda Yusuf, who called for the removal of petrol subsidy, said: “Demonstrate unmistakable commitment to the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act. This would attract more investment into the oil and gas sector. Remove the petrol subsidy with minimum shocks to the economy and the citizens.
“A substantive minister of Petroleum Resources should be appointed to promote professionalism and transparency in the sector. The practice of the President assuming the role of Minister of Petroleum should be discontinued.”
However, a recent visit to the Ijegun-Egba Tankfarm in Lagos showed that four vessels carrying about 80 million litres were still discharging the product to tank farm owners.
Tank farm owners, including A.A. RANO Nigeria Limited, JGold Nigeria Limited, Chipet International Limited, Emadeb Energy Services Limited, First Royal Oil Nigeria Limited, MAO Petroleum Company Limited, Menj Oil Limited, Ocean Pride Energy Services Limited, Stallionaire Nigeria Limited, Wosbab Energy Solutions Limited and Rainoil Limited, would take the product to their outlets as well as sell to independent marketers at government regulated price of N172 per litre.