Fuel Queues Persist, Despite Increase In Supply | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Fuel Queues Persist, Despite Increase In Supply

Posted: Nov 22, 2015 at 9:01 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

The nationwide fuel scarcity has forced the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to dispatch about 96.61 million litres of petrol within three days, a development which the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, says is above the corporation’s normal delivery capacity.

But long queues for fuel have persisted at a few filling stations where petrol is being sold in major cities across the country.

The daily dispatch reports of petrol to filling stations by the corporation at the peak of the fuel scarcity problems showed that over 95.61 million litres of petrol was distributed between Monday, November 16 and Wednesday, November 18, 2015.

An analysis of the reports showed that on November 18, a total of 83 stations got 3.266 million litres of petrol from Suleja Depot; 25 stations received 991,007 litres from Kaduna Depot; 113 stations got 4.974 million litres of fuel from Kano Depot; seven outlets in Minna got 280,987 litres, while Gusau Depot dispatched 1.534 million litres to 38 stations.

Other depots that dispatched products on the same day included Mosimi, distributing 5.554 million litres of fuel to 160 filling stations; Satellite, 520,070 litres to 15 stations; Ilorin, 285,000 litres to eight outlets; Ore, 471,018 litres to 13 stations; Ibadan, 1.037 million litres to 30 stations; Gombe Area, 3.495 million litres to 89 stations; Benin, 243,999 litres to seven outlets; Port Harcourt, 32,900 to one station; Makurdi, 580,994 litres to 14 stations; and Enugu dispatched 2.272 million litres to 55 filling stations.

In all, 658 petrol stations got about 25.54 million litres of petrol from 15 depots on November 18, 2015, the report stated.

On November 17, a total of 753 filling stations received 31.79 million litres of petrol from 13 depots, while 16 depots supplied 38.278 million litres of petrol to filling stations across the country on November 16.

Kachikwu, who doubles as the Group Managing Director of the national oil firm, told journalists in Abuja that “the trucks that had been moved around over the last three days are in excess of 4,000, whereas the total normal utilisation yield is about 2,500 trucks. Again, there are people who store products and the Department of Petroleum Resources has sealed a lot of such stations in the last one week.”

He noted that the “NNPC has been the one supplying the country and it is almost 100 per cent when most typically, we should be doing 50 or 55 per cent.”

The NNPC had on Monday absolved itself of being responsible for the prolonged fuel scarcity across the country.

According to the corporation, it has kept its bargain by making fuel available to depots that receive supply from its subsidiary, the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company.

The Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, NNPC, Mr. Ohi Alegbe, told our correspondent that the firm had made it clear that Nigeria had enough fuel that would keep the country wet for this month.

He stated that the country was also expecting products before the end of November, adding that when the products arrived, there would be enough petrol that would last for more days.

When asked to explain why there was still scarcity despite claims of available products, he said, “I’m going to send you the daily supply to all the stations nationwide. This is to let you know that we are fulfilling our own part of the bargain. So if there is any case of fuel diversion observed by anybody, then we can go to town with that.”

Meanwhile, our correspondent observed that the queues for fuel in some parts of Abuja, Nasarawa, Ilorin and Kaduna continued on Friday.

The situation was not different in Lagos, Abeokuta and other cities in the South West.

The Federal Government recently approved the payment of N413bn to marketers for the subsidy debt owed them.

President Muhammadu Buhari has requested the approval of the National Assembly on the supplementary budget of N465.64, from which the subsidy arrears will be paid. This will help resolve the current fuel shortages and close the book on debts owed importers from 2014 to date.

Subsidised imports account for about half of Nigeria’s petrol needs and firms bringing in the product have not been paid since Buhari came to power at the end of May this year.

The marketers said they were struggling to finance their purchases with low dollar availability and shrinking credit lines.