Oscarline Onwuemenyi & Ike Amos
19 June 2017, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said that following key strategic interventions it made, the price of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO), also known as Diesel, has crashed to about 42% nationwide, a huge downslide over the last six months.
It would be recalled that in the first quarter 2017, retail prices of AGO, which is one of the deregulated products, shot to an all-time high of N300/litre in major demand centres across the country.
Such unpleasant situation placed a huge burden on truck drivers, who need the product for transporting their vehicles; the nation’s manufacturing sector, which requires it to run its operations as well as on the masses, who need it for household power generation.
However, following strategic intervention efforts by the NNPC towards sustained improvement in the supply of the diesel, the product’s retail prices as at the end of May 2017 ranged from N175 to N200 across the country (a significant price drop of about 42%), while ex-depot prices also dropped to between N135 and N155.
Shedding more light on this remarkable achievement, NNPC spokesperson, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, said some of the Corporation’s strategic interventions in this regard include improving the supply of AGO and remodeling of the product distribution to address sufficiency issues across the country.
“Since January this year, we have worked very hard with relevant stakeholders to improve distribution from refinery depots, by implementing a robust loading programme,” Ughamadu affirmed.
Also, in its quest to enhance efficient distribution of AGO, the Corporation was able to resuscitate its critical pipelines and depots in places such as Atlas Cove-Mosimi, Port-Harcourt Refinery-Aba and Kaduna Refinery-Kano. Efforts are also ongoing to revamp and commission other critical pipelines across the country.
Another key intervention that has enhanced supply and distribution of diesel, the NNPC spokesperson noted, was the Corporation’s robust engagement with critical downstream stakeholders where salient issues were raised and duly addressed. These stakeholders include: Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) as well as Independent Petroleum Marketers.
Furthermore, as a result of consistent positive engagement with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), NNPC equally extended the expansion of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) Foreign Exchange Intervention Scheme to accommodate Diesel and Aviation Fuel.
The Corporation further assured the general public that it would continue to ensure seamless supply and distribution of diesel and other petroleum products across the country to make the lives of Nigerians better.