15 March 2016, Lagos – Owners of private petroleum products’ depots in Lagos have warned that the current fuel scarcity in the country may get worse as they have yet to receive supply from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
Our correspondent gathered that loading at some of the depots on Monday did not improve significantly, while there was no activity at the government-owned depot in Ibadan, Oyo State.
Supply to Ilorin was said to have been hampered by the row between the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria and the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR.
In Lagos, many filling stations did not operate on Monday, while those that were selling petrol still had long queues of desperate motorists to contend with. On the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, queues at Mobil and Oando filling stations spilled onto the road and caused serious gridlock.
A top official at one of the depots in Lagos, who spoke with our correspondent on condition of anonymity, said, “Majority of the depots loaded below 30 per cent of their installed capacities today (Monday) because the product was not there.
“The number of trucks that we loaded today was below 30, and this is a depot that can load about 150 trucks in a day.”
The source said that out of the eight depots that had throughput arrangement with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, only Capital Oil, Folawiyo and MRS had enough stock on Monday.
“Those are the major depots that have the product. The remaining don’t have NNPC product. They have been promising us that they are bringing the product to us for the past four days, but the vessel has not come as we speak. The scarcity may get worse if nothing is done about this,” the source added.
It was gathered that Aiteo, Nipco and Ascon depots had not received the NNPC product since four days ago.
“They (NNPC) are not supplying as much as they should, but they keep promising us. When you say a whole depot is having two million litres, what can two million litres do? If we cannot get any resolution between now and this week, that means the coming Easter will even make things worse,” the source explained.
The Chairman, Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, Lagos Zone, Alhaji Tokunbo Korodo, confirmed to our correspondent that a number of the private depots did not have enough supply from the NNPC.
“I contacted them this morning to know their level of loading today, some of them said they didn’t have enough stock and so they could not load out. But the major marketers are quite different; they loaded over the weekend. Total loaded overnight. Right now, Oando is loading every day, though they didn’t load over the weekend,” Korodo said.
He added that loading had been taking place at the Ejigbo and Mosimi depots in Lagos and Ogun states, respectively, since the weekend, but that the Ibadan depot did not load on Monday because there was no stock.
“If the level of loading over the weekend and today (Monday) is maintained, by Friday, we should be able to have shorter queues, if not total eradication of the scarcity. But the low stock in those private depots is a big challenge. So, the government should find a way to address this,” Korodo said.