Fuel scarcity hits Lagos over contaminated PMS

Oredola Adeola

Some parts of Lagos inclusive of Victoria Island and Lekki have been hit by fuel scarcity as majority of the filling stations in those axis of Lagos have witnessed long queues of motorists causing traffic jams since Monday.

This has been attributed to supply challenge caused by millions of contaminated Premium Motor Spirit(PMS) popularly called petrol in circulation across some filling stations , allegedly imported into the country by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation(NNPC) said to contain high sulphur content.

Check by EnegyDay revealed that the supply challenge affected Ardova, Enyo,Northwest, Totalenergies, Pinnacle, as some of the fillings stations have been advised to stop dispensing until they get new stocks.

Meanwhile Mr. Clement Isong, Executive Secretary (ES) of the Major Marketers Association of Nigeria(MOMAN) in a response to call by EnergyDay urged Lagosians affected by the supply challenge not to panic as the association has put in place mechanism to control the spread of the contaminated PMS.

According to him, “it is true that some contaminated products have found their way into the supply chain in some part of Lagos. However, we have quickly identified some of the cargoes distributing the product and have isolated and quarantined them.

“So these products are no longer in the market. It is in depots and some of the trucks that loaded them have been recalled and all the contaminated products have been returned to the depots.

“It was discovered just when it was entering the supply chain, and immediately notices had been sent out to the marketers who have them to shut their stations, quarantine their facilities and return the product back to the depots. We have brought in Chemists to analyse the product, identify what could have gone wrong.

“Basically, this has created a small supply gap, but mechanism has been put in place to control the situation. No doubt, this would create initial supply challenge, which we regret, things would return to normal after a week in affected areas.

“We have informed NNPC about the need to replenish and restock the depots with better products. No doubt NNPC has sufficient products in their vessels to address the supply challenge, but the entire process of restocking and distribution within the supply chain will take like five days to fill, the MOMAN’s ES said.

Mr. Isong noted that none of the affected marketers are selling at the moment. It is not in our practice to sell contaminated products to our customers. Those who are selling at the moment have been loading their trucks from where there is good product while we are waiting for NNPC to address the issue.

Meanwhile our correspondent who monitored the situation on Monday gathered that most residents of Lagos island and Lekki axis were engaged in panic buying.
 
The panic buying not alone affected PMS , as the filling stations visited by our correspondent refused to sell Diesel to customers, claiming supply challenge.

Manager of PetroCam in Elf, Lekki, who would not want his name in print, told EnergyDay that he received his last supply at the weekend and has since run out of products because of the rush by customers.

Another Station manager, at Ardova Plc(AP) at Ikate Junction, who concealed his Identity claimed he got the instruction from the head office not to sell. He claimed he has not restocked in about three days and still awaiting trucks from the depot.  

The unusual long queues of vehicles were also witnessed at Forte Petrol stations in Awolowo Road, Falomo junction, Ikoyi and other filling stations in Ikoyi, Victoria Island, Obalende.

It was reported that the queue across the filling stations started at the weekend when power generation in the area dropped by 630mw after a fire outbreak at the the Egbin Power plant, Ikorodu, which led to the attendant shutdown of generation by the company, coupled with the load reduction mechanism adopted by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to prevent system collapse.
 
Meanwhile, the major parts of Lagos mainland were not affected by the supply challenge, apart from few stations who were not selling due to supply challenge from the depots. 

Efforts to reach NNPC and the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority(NMDPRA) proved abortive as their spokespersons no were not responding to calls and messages sent to them as at the period of filling this report.

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