27 March 2016, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, on Friday assured that the Corporation is doing everything possible to end the long fuel queues in most parts of the country in the weeks ahead noting that the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu has activated the enablers to ensure sanitization of the fuel supply and distribution matrix.
The Corporation in a statement signed by the new Group General Manager, Public Affairs Division, Mr. Garba Deen Muhammed, decried what it termed “misinterpretation’’ of an otherwise benign and sincere assessment of the fuel supply scenario by Dr. Kachikwu during a brief chat with State House Correspondents at the Presidential Villa after leading members of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG and Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, to a meeting with Mr. President.
it stated that, “The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) wishes to empathize with the difficulties Nigerians are presently going through due to the current fuel situation and assures that the Government and NNPC are not taking their patience for granted. We urge Nigerians to continue to be patient because the difficulties being experienced as a result of the situation will soon be alleviated.
“We would like to assure all Nigerians that the Honorable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources/Group Managing Director, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu and everybody else associated with this situation is working tirelessly round the clock to ensure relief is brought to Nigerians.
It noted that, “The Minister’s candour is in keeping with the regime’s policy to be open and sincere with Nigerians at all times. For the avoidance of doubt, it is pertinent to state that efforts are in full gear to eliminate all extraneous factors which have so far impeded the free flow of petrol across the country, especially the issue of foreign exchange for oil marketers which the Honourbale Minister is working with the Central Bank of Nigeria to resolve, the NNPC stated.”
“Our immediate concern is to make petrol available through the interventions and processes put in place so that the queues will disappear within the next one to two weeks. As at 1600hrs of today, one (1) PMS cargo containing 42 million litres has completely discharged, two (2) more PMS cargos with a combined ‘Remaining on Board’ (ROB) of 44 million litres are currently discharging while another PMS cargo containing 44 million litres is berthed and awaiting discharge,” The statement added.
The Corporation explained that it has enough products lined up to ensure that the supply gap which created the problem is bridged. “In order to ensure effective distribution we are working with Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), oil majors and over 1,000 NNPC staff, nationwide to ensure we overcome the obstacles in the distribution of the products.
“While not resorting to excuses we would like reemphasize that this present management of NNPC and indeed the Government inherited huge and complicated problems with respect to importation, distribution and pricing of petroleum products,” it stated.
Nigerians would recall that the sum of N522,258,934,505 meant for payment of fuel subsidy, covering the last quarter of 2014 (October to December) and the entire 2015 was approved by the Senate in December 2015 in order to pay for subsidy arrears inherited by this government.
According to the statement, “For long term solutions, the NNPC and the Government is working to put in place machineries to ensure that our refineries are fixed and working optimally, while the pipelines which have been under attack for some time now are repaired.
“The Direct Sale Direct Purchase (DSDP) arrangement for crude would commence in the first week of April and all these coupled with the fact that the President has given his support to increase the crude supply to NNPC to ensure local sufficiency of products will go a long way to solve the problems in the short and long term.”
While apologizing to Nigerians for the recent hardship in assessing petroleum products, the NNPC assured of normalization of the fuel supply and distribution system in the weeks ahead.