Wednesday, November 18, 2015 10:58 am
Across the country, fuel scarcity is biting hard, defying continuous assurance by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that it has enough volume of petrol in stock to meet domestic demand. In most parts of the country, reports of persistent fuel scarcity have not ceased, with the price of the product gradually being upped in the few fuel stations where it is being sold.
Since last week, in Lagos and most parts of Ogun State for instance, queues at fuel stations have been growing longer, even as the NNPC has persisted in its attempts to update the public with the fuel situation. In a bid to emphasize that there is no reason for the scarcity, Justine Ezeala, Executive Director, Commercial of the Pipelines and Product Marketing Company stated early this week that 1.4 billion litres of petrol was in stock for distribution to fuel stations across the country in the month of November. He stated that ordinarily, the volume should be sufficient, to meet the expected demand of fuel consumers in the country.
Ezeala also disclosed that as an extra measure, the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC) has increased the volume of the product being delivered to fuel stations across the country’s major cities. But while he also mentioned that the mega stations across the country have been ordered to commence 24 –hour service across the country, many of the stations in Lagos and Ogun States do not even have the product to sell, buttressing reports that stock of petroleum products at NNPC facilities across the country is grossly insufficient, with supply from local refineries too low to augment imports.
At the NNPC mega stations in Lagos where fuel is available, the long queues have already begun to obstruct the free flow of traffic. But in most private filling stations, the pumps are on holiday.
The Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association’s Secretary, Olufemi Adewole revealed that most of the storage facilities owned by the members of the association have reported low stock of premium motor spirit (petrol), limiting what can be loaded and supplied. And the very few fuel stations where petrol is available are currently selling at over N100 per litre.
The NNPC, which insists that the queues are artificially induced, has gone further to open up some hotlines as an avenue for the public to pass information across to the corporation concerning activities at mega and affiliate stations across country. The hotlines are 08052195801, 08057008021 and 08100941174.