…As NNPC chief says product should sell at N171 per litre
30 December 2017, Sweetcrude, Abuja – President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to seal off fuel stations found to be hoarding petroleum products and dispense the petroleum free to the public.
Group Managing Director of NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, who made the disclosure after observing the Jumat service at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, also said although petrol should sell at N171.40, per liter because of the landing cost, the NNPC was selling at depot at N133.28 to marketers, because of President Buhari’s directive that corporation should maintain all the parameters to ensure that the product is sold at N145 per liter.
He said, “Mr. President’s directive and guidance which has been very helpful has been executed and normalcy has returned.
“Those marketers that have hidden products in odd locations, you better bring them out and sell to the public at N145 per liter maximum. If NNPC sold it to you at N133.28, you have sufficient margin within that ambit to be able to supply and sell to the public at maximum N145 per liter.”
He added that, “The NNPC mega stations are selling at N143 per liter so you should be able to sell at N145 per liter. If you go above that, the regulator, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) with the support of law enforcement agencies particularly the civil defence, will make sure that the products are confiscated and given free to the public. This is the directive that we are working on by Mr. President and is being executed to the later.
“Bring them out and sell these products, we don’t have any shortage and we are making massive loadings. Normally we should be able to have 850 trucks to satisfy the National consumption but as at yesterday (Thursday), we loaded 1,750 trucks to go around the country. So we will continue massive load out until we reached the former position whereby all the stations will have products and truck siding.”
Asked about the legal actions being taken against marketers that hoard the products, the NNPC boss said, “We have met with the law enforcement agencies particularly with civil defence who have helped us to mob up those people selling in Jerry cans and have also helped us to mop out some of the cars that have extra tanks at least within Abuja and environs and around the country.
“The legal action is to apprehend the culprits first and then take them to the courts within the time limit that is speculated.”
According to Baru, the monster of the rumoured fuel increase which led to fuel scarcity has been tamed and petroleum products are now available for distribution.
He said, “I’m happy to report that we have tamed the monster that reared it’s head as a result of the rumored price increase about three weeks ago.
“Fortunately that rumour instigated a lot of marketers to be very greedy and they decided that their fellow citizens should not enjoy the Christmas holiday and new year with ease and decided to profiteer starting by hoarding and diversion of products.
“At the beginning, I did address the press, telling the world that we have sufficient products that will last us 30 days through the new year into January but because the marketers wanted to inflict harm and pains on fellow citizens, they decided to hoard products, divert them and in some cases even smuggle products out of the country.
“This has been tamed by the actions we took and I personally led the war around Abuja and other teams led the war in Lagos and other parts of the country.”
He added that, “As of this morning, I have gone round the Abuja metropolis and I have seen that the queues have reduced significantly to almost normal level and few motorists that I heard speaking on morning programmes concerning what I have seen, said they have not spent up to 30 minutes to fuel their car.
“So the monster has been tamed in Lagos, the situation has been brought into normalcy as far as two days ago and we are also aching the same thing in all other cities.
“I promise that we have sufficient products that will last us for the next 30 days and we will keep bringing in 50% over and above our normal consumption into the country. And vessels have been lined up, at the moment I have eight vessels discharging products at various ports around the country. So Nigerians should enjoy the new year and that
Asked to address the confusion surrounding the issue of subsidy, if it has been removed or not, Baru replied, “Do you want me to remove subsidy? What I am saying is that the landing cost as should be sold in the pump without under-recovery should be N171.40, however Mr. President has directed that we should maintain all the parameters to ensure that it is sold at N145 per liter. And that is why we are selling at depot at N133.28.”