As fuel scarcity persists in Abuja, Lagos, Enugu, Ondo, Osun, Kaduna, Kano, Warri and many other cities nationwide, Group Managing Director of NNPC Limited, Mallam Mele Kyari, yesterday, maintained that there is enough petrol in stock to commence loading of trucks at all depots, a position disputed by Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN.
National Operations Controller of IPMAN, Mike Osatuyi, however, insisted that there is short supply in the system, as evident in the long queues visible across the country.
On his part, the President of IPMAN, Mr Chinedu Okoronkwo, said ex-depot price by depot operators and the inability of some independent marketers to get products had contributed to the lingering scarcity.
Kyari told journalists in Abuja, shortly after a meeting with the Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG and Petrol Tanker Drivers, PTD, a branch of NUPENG, that with over 1.8 billion litres of petrol in storage, the queues will disappear in the coming days.
His words: “Currently, we have over 1.8 billion litres of PMS in our hands both in marine and on land.
“This also means that we now have capacity to load out excessively from all depots. We have put in place measures to ensure 24 hours loading in all depots
This will ensure that scarcity created by panic buying will now be freed so that normalcy will return to filling stations.
“Typically in situations like this, people go to the filling stations and buy in excess of what they need and this is what additional supply will resolve. I am very sure that very soon we will see relief on this.”
Kyari, who emphasized that neither the Federal Government nor the NNPC has any plan to raise the pump price of petrol, called on marketers to ensure that they sell petrol at the price approved by government.
He noted that following meetings with Depot and Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, DAPMAN, NUPENG, and MOMAN, the stakeholders have agreed that the corporation should carry out “necessary sanctions on any marketer found selling petrol above approved price, including refusal to sell PMS to stations or depots.
Additionally, the authority will carry out necessary sanctions allowed by law on any defaulting depot owner and this will ensure that Nigerians will continue to buy the product at the approved price.”
Apologising for the pains Nigerians are experiencing at filling stations, he appealed to consumers to avoid panic buying and to buy only the quantity they need at filling stations.
Meanwhile, one of the major marketers, who preferred not to be named told Vanguard that some marketers are hoarding products thus creating artificial scarcity.
They are looking at a possible way of gaining from the hardship Nigerians are facing now,” the marketer said.
To be updated soon.