Fuel scarcity bites harder nationwide, as NNPC blames ongoing road projects in Apapa

Oredola Adeola

… IPMAN suggests quick solutions

As Nigerians continue to grapple with the devastating impact of buying Premium Motor Spirit(PMS) also known as petrol at above N260 per litre and more in Lagos, Abuja, Ogun and other parts of the country, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited has attributed the petrol scarcity on some ongoing road projects around Apapa, Lagos state.

EnergyDay’s correspondents who monitored the situation on Monday and Tuesday recorded long queues at filling stations in major parts of Lagos including Lekki, Victoria Island, Surulere, Abule Egba and Agege.
Filling stations owned by the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, MOMAN including Mobil, Total, Ardova, Total and others were selling petrol at N170, with long queues, disrupting traffic flow on major highways in Lagos.

Other independent marketers, including IPMAN filling stations, predominantly in Lagos mainland, were selling to motorists and residents at different prices ranging from N220 to N280 per litre, depending on locations.

Black marketers have also taken advantage of the situation to sell a litre of fuel at N400 or N500 per litre, especially around stations that were under lock and key.

Adeyemi Adetunji, NNPC’s Executive Vice President,  (Downstream),  during a press conference on Tuesday, in Abuja, blamed the petrol scarcity on some ongoing road projects around Apapa, Lagos state.

The VP NNPC Downstream noted that traffic gridlock caused by the poor road network around Apapa is a major cause of the crisis being experienced in the downstream oil industry.

According to him, NNPC has programmed vessels and trucks to unconstrained depots, with massive load outs from depots to various states being closely monitored.

He said, “The recent queues in Lagos are largely due to ongoing road infrastructure projects around Apapa and access road challenges in some parts of Lagos depots.
“The gridlock is easing out and NNPC has programmed vessels and trucks to unconstrained depots and massive load outs from depots to various states are closely being monitored.

“Abuja is impacted by the challenges recorded in Lagos. NNPC retail and key marketers have intensified dedicated loading into Abuja to restore normalcy as soon as possible.

“We want to reassure all Nigerians that NNPC has sufficient products, and we significantly increased product loading, including 24-hour operations in selected depots and extended hours at strategic stations to ensure products sufficiency nationwide.’

“We are also working with the NMDPRA, MOMAN, DAPPMAN, IPMAN, NARTO, PTD, and other industry stakeholders to ensure normalcy is returned.” the NNPC scribe said.
The NNPC’s VP Downstream assured that Nigeria has a national petrol stock of over 2 billion litres, which would last the country over 30 days or more.

Chinedu Okoronkwo, President, of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) in a live telecast on Channels Television, monitored by EnergyDay disclosed that petroleum marketers are getting the PMS at prices between  N185 and N210 per litre from tank farms, instead of N148.19 per litre.

He said, “The tank farm owners are blaming the hike in ex-depot price on the cost of hiring vessels used in evacuating the product from the mother vessels to their terminals.

“They claimed that the vessel operations and other charges are dollarised. I think we can come (together) as a country to see how we put some of these dollarisation things, use Naira and pay for some of these things.

“This product is available, and NNPC has sufficient stock. This scarcity is because of this distribution-related crisis.  That is where we need to do something.

“IPMAN has about five zones. You can (deposit) some of these products in various zones so that their accessibility will still be at a cost that is not even that big.
Okoronkwo, therefore noted that IPMAN is committed to cushioning the impact on Nigerians, charging NNPC to make use of the depots in all the zones.