The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), has blamed the current petroleum scarcity in the country on marketers of the product, who according to him, are hoarding the product.
The Group Managing Director of the company, Maikanti Baru, in a statement by Ndu Ughamadu, the NNPC spokesman, also said part of the problem was the rumours about purported planned increase in the pump price of petrol.
He stated that some marketers, in their quest to cash in on the situation, suddenly started hoarding products.
“But we swiftly swung into action by doubling our supply nationwide. At the time the rumour started, we had about 30-day sufficiency.
“The normal daily supply to the nation is 700 trucks, equalling about 27-30 million litres per day,” Baru said.
He assured that the corporation had doubled its daily supply of petrol, from daily 700 trucks (about 27 million – 30 million) litres per day supply to 80 million litres since the current hiccup in the supply chain was noticed a few days back.
He further assured Nigerians that the NNPC had enough products sufficiency that would last up to 30 days.
Baru, who expressed joy at PENGASSAN’s call-off of its planned strike, urged motorists not to engage in panic buying as the corporation had more than enough products for domestic consumption.
Assuring that the fuel situation would fizzle out this week, Baru warned marketers against hoarding, stressing that any filling station found wanting in this regard would lose its entire products to motorists.
He commended NNPC’s sister agencies, the Department of Petroleum Resources and Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, for their support in helping NNPC tackle the menace of hoarding by filling stations.
Signing a Memorandum of Understanding between the Corporation and the Benue Government on the Agasha-Guma bio-fuels Projects, Baru said that at least a billion litres petrol-laden cargoes were expected by December.
He said the Bio-fuels Project would provide employment for the teeming youths in the state.
“I believe that Benue has what it takes to lead the country in the bio-fuels industry.
“I hope that your state will soon move from food basket to fuel basket of the nation,” Baru noted.
The Agasha-Guma bio-fuels project aims at developing Integrated Sugarcane Plantation and Fuel-Ethanol/Sugar/Power Plant Complex in Benue through a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV).
The corporation promised that the product will be available in all the filling stations before weekend.
Ughamadu said fuel queues will `normalise’ by Friday and disappear by weekend.
He said that there was an increase in the number of incoming trucks of petrol into the FCT to curb the queues in the city.
According to him, the NNPC Group Managing Director has met with the heads of Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) and Petrol Tanker Drivers (PTD) to nip the problem in the bud.
He disclosed that a nation that consumed 35 million litres suddenly increased consumption to 85 million litres due diversion to neighbouring countries.
“Dr Baru just today directed that more trucks be moved into the FCT to douse tension and increase supply. He met with NARTO and PTD and they assured that trucks would be closely monitored.
“He said Lagos should be maintained at 300 trucks but the actual figure coming into Abuja should be increased by 150.
“Port Harcourt refinery has also increased refining and so by tomorrow (Friday) queues should normalise and by weekend it would have disappeared,” Ughamadu said.
He said the scarcity was artificial as the corporation “as at today has adequate products and a 25-day sufficiency.”