30 December 2017, Sweetcrude, Lagos — The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Saturday, maintained its stance that the fuel crisis that ravaged the country over the last few weeks was caused by petroleum marketers to profit from the crisis.
The NNPC, in a statement signed by its Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, however, declared that despite the antics of the marketers, the NNPC had successfully cleared the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) otherwise known as petrol queues in Abuja and Lagos.
He also explained that the corporation is committed to increasing truck-outs to other states to restore normalcy to the petrol supply and distribution across the country.
According to the statement, Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mr. Maikanti Baru, made this disclosure Friday after visiting some filling stations in Abuja.
Baru insisted that the petrol scarcity was self-inflicted following the sharp practices of some unscrupulous marketers who took to hoarding and diversion of the product.
He said, “We have maintained our position that this scarcity is self-inflicted by marketers. The NNPC has more than 30-day sufficiency of supply of petroleum products, especially PMS and at the current consumption rate of about 27 to 28million litres per day, we should be very comfortable until the end of January 2018 even if we don’t import a drop of petrol into this country.”
He appealed to marketers who have diverted petroleum products to please be mindful of their brothers and sisters and stop profiteering, stressing that they bought PMS at N133.28 per litre apart from their profit margin and a transportation cost of N7.20 per litre.
He urged marketers to listen to the voice of reasoning to avoid the long arm of the law catching up with them, adding that the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) have been mandated to invoke the law against any defaulting marketers.
He appealed to motorists to cooperate with the NNPC in restoring normalcy to the petrol situation by reporting marketers who sell PMS above N145 per litre to the emergency lines of the DPR and NSCDC.
He said, “As far as truck out is concerned, we have more than doubled the number of trucks that are going out into the country. Yesterday, we loaded and distributed products from coastal and strategic inland depots like Jos. We loaded 1,733 trucks yesterday and the actual normal number of trucks we required to keep the country wet is about 700 but we have been doing 800 to 850 trucks before the petrol scarcity.
“We have stepped up the number of truck-outs to 1,733 as a minimum and we have sustained this for a week and there will be more than enough products for motorists in the weeks ahead.”
Baru said the NNPC would remain focused on ensuring that all the other state capitals are wet with petrol latest by Sunday.
The NNPC said the highpoint of the visit to the filling stations by the GMD and his management team was the handing over of two motorists who were caught with 30 jerrycans in their navy colour Golf saloon car to NSCDC for the prosecution at the NNPC Super Mega Station at Kubwa expressway.