10 December 2014, Lagos – The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and its downstream subsidiary, the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC), last night blamed the sudden fuel queues experienced in filling stations in Lagos to the ongoing construction of Apapa road and its associated traffic gridlock.
PPMC has also said it has over 32 days ample stock of petroleum products available for supply across the nation during the yuletide and beyond, while additional vessels have arrived Lagos port.
While some marketers blame the development on the devaluation of the naira, which has affected their capacity to raise foreign exchange for importation of products, others attributed the tightening supply to logistics problems experienced last week at the North Oil Jetty (NOJ) at Apapa, where imported cargoes of petroleum products berth.
Investigation has however revealed that most depots in Lagos are wet with petroleum products.
THISDAY gathered that a vessel laden with Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), otherwise called cooking gas, from the Bonny Island plant of the Nigerian LNG Limited in Rivers, which berthed at the NOJ in Apapa to supply LPG to marketers, overstayed and prevented imported petrol cargoes from berthing.
This development, it was gathered, disrupted the smooth supply of petroleum products to the Lagos depots.
“Though the situation has been addressed, when there is such dislocation in supply, it takes quite sometimes for the situation to normalize,” said one of the marketers. But the Group General Manager in charge of the Group Public Affairs Division of the NNPC, Mr. Ohi Alegbe said in a statement last night that the market was robust with premium motor spirit (PMS), also known as petrol and enjoined motorists in Lagos and its environs not to engage in panic buying.
He stated that the noticeable queues in some filling stations in Lagos are attributable to panic buying caused by reduced truck- out of PMS from the private depots in Apapa area of Lagos due to the gridlock created by the ongoing road construction in Apapa.
NNPC urged marketers affected by the Apapa road construction to load their petroleum products from its inland depot in Mosimi so as to support the “zero tolerance to fuel queues” policy across the country.
It appealed to marketers to immediately commence loading from the PPMC Mosimi depot to cover for the shortfall from Apapa.
The statement also advised marketers to desist from hoarding or diversion of petroleum products as any marketer caught in the nefarious act would be sanctioned.
– This Day