21 April 2014, Abuja – Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, has reeled out measures to ensure round-the-clock availability of petrol across the country in a deft move aimed at sanitising the nation’s fuel supply and distribution system.
Under the arrangement which the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) stated in a statement yesterday, the minister had approved the allocation of a total volume of 1, 854, 314 metric tonnes of petrol as supplementary volumes for first quarters (Q1) 2014 and second quarter (Q2) 2014 June only delivery.
The statement which was signed by the Group General Manager, Public Affairs of NNPC, Mr. Ohi Alegbe, explained that the supplementary volume for Q1 quota is 750, 000 metric tonnes and that for Q2 June, only volume is 1, 104, 318.
Alegbe noted that whilst the first quarter supplementary volume was designed to complement the earlier allocation in addition to covering any under delivery by marketers due to unforeseen financial challenges, the Q2 (June only) quota is in consonance with the national consumption pattern of 40 million litres per day.
He also stated that the Q2 quota also captures a 23 per cent upper tolerance in the event of default or slippage into July, adding that 27 oil marketers were shortlisted in respect of Q1 and 40 for Q2.
“There are 27 oil marketing companies with proven performance records enlisted in respect of Q1 deliveries. For Q2 (June only), there are 40 marketers with good performance records and whose facilities are functional.
“The idea of June only is to revert back to the normal quarterly sequence, i.e. July-September and October-December,” Alegbe said.
On measures to ensure full compliance in line with the aspiration of zero fuel queues, Alegbe noted that the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), the body with the statutory responsibility in this regard had inserted a provision in the allocation document which allows for the deduction of equivalent volume from the defaulting marketer’s subsequent allocation in event of slippage or default.
Alegbe explained that the PPPRA, NNPC and its downstream subsidiary, the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company, (PPMC) as well as the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) were working in concert with other key downstream operators to ensure the realisation of the zero fuel queues aspiration of the minister.
Meanwhile, the NNPC has said Alison-Madueke who was also the chairman of its board and the Group Managing Director of the corporation, Andrew Yakubu, were not at loggerheads.
Alegbe said in the statement that the minister and Yakubu were in a harmonious working relationship, dismissing the insinuations in some quarters of a phantom frosty relationship between the two key figures in the oil and gas industry.
The general manager equally described the reports as a figment of the overheated imagination of the authors saying the minister and NNPC had in the last few months heeded countless number of summons from the National Assembly, thus wondering why the media would go to town with the report that the minister was doing everything to thwart the proposed investigation into the alleged N10 billion purportedly expended on the charter of jets by the corporation.
The NNPC spokesman maintained that the minister and the corporation are putting together all the documents that the House of Representatives Committee on Public Account had requested for, stressing that at the end of the probe, the minister and the corporation would be vindicated.
Alegbe averred that Yakubu was in London last week for the board meeting of the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) where he said that the NNPC would remain focused on its core mandate of guaranteeing energy sufficiency for the country.
– This Day