NNPC cautions against panic buying of petroleum products

*Reconfirms ample fuel supply nationwide

Oscarline Onwuemenyi

21 November 2011, Sweetcrude, ABUJA – Ahead of the forthcoming Christmas festivity and the envisaged heavy movement of people for the holidays, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, said it has stepped up fuel supply to the Federal Capital Territory Abuja and across the nation to meet up demands.

It has further warned Nigerians against panic buying, noting that it has abundant petroleum products to go round the country without any fear of shortage throughout the period of festivity.

The Corporation’s position is coming even as many filling stations across the Federal Capital Territory and environs were seen shut down, and queues emerging at different points in the city.

The Group General Manager Public Affairs Division of the NNPC, Dr Levi Ajuonuma, noted in a statement made available to our correspondent’s questioning over alleged resurgence of fuel queues around Abuja.

He explained that the observed panic-induced fuel queues in Abuja have nothing to do with shortage in supply of petroleum products and that marketers and private depot owners are being adequately supplied with products.

“As at today, the PPMC has stepped up supply of products to Abuja and environs from the normal 150 trucks per day to 224 trucks. This situation will be sustained from now through the period of Christmas and New Year festivities till January. I can assure you there is no shortage of PMS or any other petroleum product now or in the foreseeable future as the PPMC has a 54-day fuel sufficiency in strategic reserve”, Dr Ajuonuma stated.

He said the complaints by some marketers that they could not lift products over the weekend because the officials of the Petroleum Equalization Fund, PEF, were not available for inspection as a result of a purported strike by staff of the agency was found not to be the case as the Executive Secretary of PEF has confirmed that the staff of the agency did not at anytime embark on strike.

The NNPC spokesman warned fuel station owners and private depot owners to shun any activity that could breach the effective supply and dispensing of products to members of the public, adding that anyone caught hoarding products or not dispensing products from all its pumps will be appropriately sanctioned.

Dr Ajuonuma said NNPC was working in concert with other relevant agencies to ensure that petroleum products get to the end users at approved prices.

He urged members of the public to desist from panic buying as there are enough products to go round even at the peak of demand as envisaged in the upcoming end of year festive season.

He called on stakeholders to avoid speculating on deregulation as government will make a pronouncement on it as and when due.

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