08 May 2015, Abuja – The Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR; Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, and its downstream subsidiary, the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company, PPMC, yesterday assured Nigerians that the ongoing fuel scarcity will thin out in the next couple of days.
This was even as the fuel crisis continued unabated across the country as majority of the fuel stations remained shut, while motorists struggled to purchase the commodity from the few petrol stations that were selling.
The DPR blamed the scarcity on a shortfall in fuel supply, stating that over the last couple of days, product lifting to the FCT had dropped significantly compared to actual demand.
Speaking in an interview with Vanguard, Mr. Mohammed Saidu, Head, Public Relations, DPR, Abuja, blamed the scarcity partly on the strike embarked upon by the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners, NARTO and Petroleum Tanker Drivers, PTD, stating that despite the fact that the strike had been called off, it will take between seven to eight days for supply to stabilize.
Saidu further stated that the DPR had constituted a task force to enforce the sale of the product to motorists and also to eliminate sharp practices.
He said: “The function of the taskforce is to ensure that the limited quantity supplied to the FCT is sold to motorists. Though, we get reports that most petrol stations are engaged in illegal activities at night, due to the fact that the taskforce do not work at night. We hope to deal with such cases decisively.”
He expressed optimism that fuel supply to the FCT will improve in the next couple of days, projecting a rise in fuel supply to meet actual demand by next week.
According to him, fuel import has improved, adding that the only challenge is in the lifting of the products from the depots.
We have 31 days fuel supply — NNPC, PPMC
Also, the NNPC and the PPMC stated that they have 1.2 billion litres of premium motor spirit (PMS) otherwise known as petrol, in stock.
The quantity, according to a statement by Mr. Ohi Alegbe, Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, NNPC, translates to 31 days sufficiency going by the 40 million daily consumption of the product in the country.
Managing Director of the PPMC, Prince Haruna Momoh, further stated that 21 additional vessels laden with petroleum products are offshore Lagos waiting to berth.
He said the NNPC had made adequate arrangements to ensure energy sufficiency in the country and reassured motorists that the noticeable queues at the filling stations would thin out in the days ahead.
Momoh noted that the NNPC has 21 days sufficiency of Automative Gas Oil (AGO) otherwise known as diesel and 18 days sufficiency of Dual Purpose Kerosene (DPK) otherwise known as kerosene.
He announced that as part of efforts to ensure petroleum products sufficiency and distribution, the NNPC embarked on aggressive Reception Depots rehabilitation in 2011, adding: “As at today, 18 depots out of the 23 depots have been fully recovered with the exception of Makurdi, Yola and Maiduguri due to the activities of pipeline vandals.”
N41bn lost to pipeline vandalism in 2014
Momoh further stated that the corporation suffered petroleum products losses worth N40.8 billion through pipeline vandalism in 2014, stressing that no business could survive such a loss and still remain a going concern.
Momoh noted that there was a marginal increase in pipeline vandalism, stressing that in 2013, the corporation recorded 3517 vandalized points but in 2014 the figure increased to 3774.
He observed that as at today, 97 pipeline vandals are undergoing prosecution and regretted that since the cases started a few years ago none of the accused persons has been convicted for economic sabotage.
He called on Nigerians from all walks of life, especially those living in communities where the pipelines run through, to protect the pipelines in the national interest.