13 October 2015, Lagos – Notwithstanding agreements with oil marketers to distribute fuel brought in by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company, NNPC, Oando Plc said it will continue to import Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, also known as petrol despite the huge debt owed marketers.
The oil company also said that it had put in place measures to ensure tranquillity in the system, since marketers have been promised that they will be paid.
The Chief Operating Officer, COO, Oando Marketing, Mrs. Olaposi Williams, reiterated the company’s commitment to enhance fuel supply and distribution in the country, during the commissioning of the Terminal 2 and Sapara Road, in Lagos last week.
She said: “We meet with the government regularly, and our Chief Executive Officer and other executives are always in Abuja. We are speaking with the Group Managing Director, NNPC, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, on this, and we are not going to down tools.
Recall that a couple of months ago, Oando and other Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, MOMAN, had threatened to discontinue the importation of petrol due to outstanding debts of over N40.6billion in subsidy claims owed by the Federal Government.
Continuing, she said: “Yes, we want to get paid, though we are going to continue to push. We are not going to suffer the community, the people of Nigeria, because once we stop importing, which won’t happen, then the country is going down to a halt because two wrongs cannot make a right.
“We will continue to dialogue with the government, and we are hopeful. We are not oblivious to what the situation is in the country, and we will continue to support the government to turn it around.”
Furthermore, Williams said Oando Marketing will be commissioning two terminals in a bid to ease the constant traffic gridlock along Apapa Road, due to fuel trucks parked indiscriminately on the road.
She said that the road leading to the terminals will house over 90 trucks upon the completion of the Phase 1 in two months.
According to her, “If trucks want to load, they come into the terminals against the next day of its loading with a standard operating procedure. So if you have to load tomorrow you will have to park here a day before. This is to discourage road side parking of our trucks.
“We spent about $3million on the projects. This is our community, our families; this is where our business is and so we are not going to stop here and we will continue to give back to the community.
“Right now, we have stakeholders meeting which Oando is championing with the community. We put some of the students in the community through college and have also helped them for small menial jobs as well as employed some of them in our parks.”
“The need for the terminals came as a result of the persistent heavy gridlock and congestion on the Apapa axis. We’ve met with the government, the local government and also the state government to see how we can decongest Apapa Road.
“We don’t condone them parking on the road and it’s not just tanker drivers, we also have the container drivers as well. Oando is part of the larger picture.”
Also commenting, the Chief Executive Officer, Oando Downstream, Mr. Abayomi Awobokun, said: “Our company is at the forefront in ensuring that Apapa is restored to its former glory, where sanity, tranquillity was the standard practice.
“We have invested billions since two years ago, and we are looking forward to commissioning the Apapa Jetty in the next three months which is worth over $150 million on completion.”