Yemie Adeoye 10 March 2014, Sweetcrude, Lagos – Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, at the weekend embarked on monitoring of fuel depots and stations across Lagos as part of efforts at restoring sanity in the nation’s fuel supply and distribution network.
The move came as fuel scarcity bit harder across the nation, with petrol selling far above the official N97 per litre price of the product.
A statement by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, said Mrs. Alison-Madueke began the visit on Saturday afternoon at the precincts of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja on arrival from a mission to Houston, US. This took her to fuel stations in Mafoloku, Ajao estate, Bariga and Ikoyi .
The statement signed by Dr. Omar Farouk Ibrahim, acting group general manager, Group Public Affairs at the NNPC stated that the minister was accompanied by heads of some agencies under the Petroleum Ministry namely, the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, and the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company, PPMC, a subsidiary of the NNPC.
The minister had extended interactions with commuters, motorists, fuel pump attendants as well managers of service stations.
The exercise continued on Sunday with visit to fuel stations at Surulere, through the Lekki-Aja Victoria Island axis.
She noted that findings indicate that the challenge may not be that of lack of petroleum product but the case of willful diversion of products by some truck drivers.
“Having gone round the state yesterday and today I can see that normalcy is fast returning as it is not just the filling stations in Ikoyi that are wet with products but also those in the mainland and far locations like Ajah.
“Having said that, it appears there are lots of factors militating against efficient delivery of fuel. We learnt for example that some tanker drivers were changing the number plates of their trucks after lpading to make it difficult for tracking. This is obviously being done to aid diversion of products from areas that are meant to receive them to other areas, ” the minister said.