NNPC Assures 25-Day Stock Of Petrol | Independent Newspapers Limited
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NNPC Assures 25-Day Stock Of Petrol

Posted: May 27, 2015 at 1:43 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

•PPMC Imports More Products •FG Pledges To Pay Marketers

By Sylvester Enoghase, Phillip Oladunjoye, Lagos and Obas Esiedesa, Abuja


The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), on Tuesday assured that the current scarcity of fuel in the country would soon be over, as it has enough stock to last 25 days at the daily consumption rate.

The corporation noted that with the renewed commitment of both product marketers and tanker drivers, supply would normalise across the country soon.

In a chat with one of our correspondents in Abuja, the NNPC dismissed rumour that the agreement between the Federal Government and various stakeholders in the petroleum industry would only cover six days of products supply.

The corporation’s spokesman, Ohi Alegbe told Daily Independent on telephone, Tuesday evening, that the NNPC’s role in the agreement signed on Monday, is ensuring that its staff work 24 hours to ensure that shortage in petrol distribution is checked.

He said the major marketers agreed to bring in products to complement the efforts of the NNPC, while other agencies and groups like the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), road transport owners and depot operators were mandated to begin operations immediately.

Corroborating the NNPC’s report of availability of fuel, an independent oil marketers told Daily Independent that a few days ago, the Pipeline and Products Marketing Company (PPMC), an arm of the NNPC, imported about 30 million metric tons of fuel. This, he noted, was discharged into all the depots in Apapa, just as two vessels of between 20 to 25 million metric tons capacity each are now discharging at the ports. This, he added, is an assurance that the product will be available and enough to stem the scarcity being experienced.

He said Nipco, Aiteo, Folawiyo and Capital Oil depots, among others are loading trucks both by day and night, but that the major marketers can only operate during the day.

“No depot in Apapa can complain that there is no fuel now. Every depot, both independent and major marketers, that take fuel from the PPMC have been supplied with fuel,” the source added.

General secretary of the Depot and petroleum products Marketing Association (DAPPMA), Olufemi Adewole, also said in a chat with Daily Independent that every depot that has fuel was loading the product into tankers at full capacity.

Continuing, he said the PPMC “brought in more fuel during the tanker drivers strike. All the depots that received the fuel are now loading at full capacity. We even agreed that they should be doing 24 hours loading.”

For him, “except if PPMC can continue to bring in fuel I cannot say how long this one would last. Because, as PPMC is bringing in fuel, major marketers and members of DAPPMA are also supposed to be bringing in fuel. But both major marketers and members of DAPPMA cannot import fuel now, because we have not been paid the money the government owed us.”

He could however not ascertain the number of trucks that have taken fuel at the depots, he was just arriving Lagos from Abuja, where he attended the stakeholders’ meeting on Monday.

Similarly, the southwest chairman of petrol tanker drivers association, an affiliate of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Comrade Tokunbo Korodo, in a telephone chat, confimed to one of our correspondent that the tanker drivers have in the past 24 hours, been distribution of petroleum products.

He said, “Nigerians have suffered enough because of the scarcity. The pains and anguish the people were going through were too much,” he said, expressing the fear that the country might still face similar situation once the current stock is exhausted as there were no products coming into the tank farms.

“Our fear is that as soon as the products we are currently lifting is exhausted, Nigerians may likely be faced with the same crisis we are trying to resolve because no fresh petroleum products is coming into the tank farms,” he said.

Korodo said the agreement reached on Monday to end the week-long crisis may fall short of expectations, if the companies that used to import fuel do not bring in more products, noting that “cars in the country have empty tanks, and so need more fuel.”

Adewole also explained that the Minister of Finance had given the marketers letters acknowledging that the government was owing them, and would pay after the committee she set up to ascertain the contentious amount has carried out its verification.

“On our part, the situation is still the same. We have not been paid. The Minister of Finance gave us a letter acknowledging that the government is owing us. In the letter, she said she has set up a committee to look at the contentious amount and that whatever amount the committee arrived at will be what they will put in the handover note to the incoming government. She did not say how and when we are going to be paid in the letter,” he said.

He said the marketers had noted on the letter that they would look for a way to pay the drivers part of the money being owed them, which resulted in the calling off of the strike.

The nation has in the past few weeks been faced with acute shortage of petrol following disagreement between the MOMAN and the Federal Government over subsidy claims.

The shortage was further compounded when Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) involved in the bridging system withdrew their trucks after accusing the major marketers of failing to pay them their trucking claims.

Further strain was put on the system when the NNPC branch of the Petroleum and Gas Senior Staff Association (PENGASSAN) and National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) to protest the transfer of operatorship of Oil Mining Leases (OMLs) 42, 40 and 30 from NNPC to its subsidiary, Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) embarked on strike action.

The assets were previously operated by multinational company Shell, but now transferred to Emeka Offor’s Elcrest Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited which is a joint venture company of Eland Oil and Gas Plc and Ernest Ezedialu Obiejesi’s NECONDE