The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has assured that it has sufficient quantity of petrol in stock to satisfy the nation’s domestic requirement, noting that the prevailing fuel queues in some major cities across the country have nothing to do with the shortage of petroleum products.
This was even as the fuel scarcity heightened over the weekend with long queues at the fuel stations.
According to the Executive Director, Commercial at the Pipeline and Products Marketing Company (PPMC), Mr. Justine Ezeala, a projected volume of 1.4 billion litres of petrol are available for distribution to fuel stations across the country all through the month of November.
Ezeala informed that as part of the extra measures in place to tackle the artificially induced queues, PPMC has increased the volume of petrol being trucked out to fuel stations across major cities in the country, adding that most of the 37 NNPC retail mega stations across the country have been directed to commence 24-hour service.
“NNPC Retail has 513 retail outlets all over the country and the strategy is that everyone of these stations is designed to have products at all times. In addition, we have decided that most of the mega stations will adopt 24 hours operation model and where, for security reasons, that cannot be met, we are going to have extended hours of operation in such location starting from 5am till about 10pm daily,” he said.
He, however, disagreed with the reports credited to the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) on the sale of product at the depots, which stated that some depots sell above the depot price and that it would be difficult for members to sell product at the regulated price of N87 at the fuel stations.
But the PPMC Executive Director, Commercial, dismissed this as he stated that IPMAN was factionalised and, therefore, would be difficult to rely on its reports.
Responding on the IPMAN allegation on high price at the depots, he said, “I am only worried about what is within my control and the facts I have on ground. I have seen reports in different quarters and I hope you know that IPMAN is factionalised and we have been getting reports from two different factions. All the GMD has encouraged IPMAN to do is to come together as a group and reconcile their differences.
“Now, those kinds of statements send panic among the people, but what I am saying is to ask the Nigerian people to listen to the official source, which is NNPC and its subsidiaries. I have the responsibility to tell you what officially the position is. I want to tell you pressmen and Nigerians to disregard that source.
“If I don’t have a product, I will tell you I don’t have a product and you and I would prepared for the worst scenario. I am not going to sit here and tell you I have product if I don’t have. I am telling you what I have and the volume that is coming in November.”
On the possibility of sabotage for the current scarcity, he said, “let me start with the issue of sabotage. Sabotage is a strong word. If anybody acts against the interest of the Nigerian government or Nigerian people, he or she is a saboteur but you press people are in the best position to name and shame anybody who is sabotaging government programmes and policies.”