Fuel Scarcity: At Last, NNPCL Breaks Silence


  • Says Scarcity Caused By Road Projects
  • IPMAN, NNPCL Differ On Cause Of Scarcity

After several days of keeping quiet while Nigerians battle widespread fuel scarcity, the country’s state-owned oil company has finally broken its silence.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) blamed the fuel queues in Lagos State and Abuja on some construction projects in the state.

NNPC’s Executive Vice President, Downstream, Mister Adeyemi Adetunju, gave this explanation while addressing a news conference in Abuja on Tuesday.

“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,” he said. “The gridlock is easing out and NNPC has programmed vessels and trucks to unconstrained depots and massive loadouts 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.”

But he assured Nigerians that efforts are ongoing to ensure that normalcy returns as soon as possible.

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

“We are also working with the NMDPRA, MOMAN, DAPPMAN, IPMAN, NARTO, PTD, and other industry stakeholders to ensure normalcy is returned.”

The NNPC, he added, has a “national PMS stock of over 2 billion litres. This is equivalent to over 30 days of sufficiency”.

This is contrary to the position of the Independent Petroleum Association of Nigeria (lPMAN) who attributed the current fuel scarcity to the unavailability of petroleum products and difficulty in accessing foreign exchange by marketers.

Mr Mike Osatuyi, the Operations Controller of lPMAN, made the remarks in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Sunday.

Osatuyi said it had become necessary to inform the general public that the lingering scarcity of petrol was due to the unavailability of the product.

He alleged that the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Ltd., had stopped importing enough petrol to meet demand in the country.

We are experiencing scarcity because the product is not available.

“The price of a litre of petrol at private depots is currently between N205 and N210 as against N162.50.

“The Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Ltd., is the sole importer of refined petroleum products, which are not readily available to marketers,” he said.

Osatuyi explained that his members bought petrol at over N200 per litre from private depots, making it impossible for them to sell at a regulated pump price.

“Besides, such a trend is unsustainable given the fact that private depots also sell the product at an unofficial rate different from that of NNPCL.

It is left to be seen how long Nigerians will have to battle the lingering fuel scarcity.

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