Petrol stations still empty as NNPC fails to end scarcity in two-day

Many fuel outlets in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Ibadan and Kano metropolis remain empty and shut their gates to customers despite the promise by NNPC to end the fuel queues as at yesterday.

On Sunday, the NNPC set up a ‘Fuel War Room’ among other measures to end the scarcity in two days. The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr Maikanti Baru said on Sunday that the NNPC had commenced a 24-hour loading and sales operations at all depots and its mega stations across the country. “Major marketers were also advised to carry out 24-hour operations, most of whom have been complying. This has increased load-out from the Depots significantly and continuous sales at the filling stations nationwide”.

Our survey yesterday showed that only a few filling stations were dispensing fuel to motorists with limited pumps, though with less vehicles on queues in most of the major cities across the country. There were also few vehicles on the roads, an indication that perhaps many motorists parked their vehicles at home for lack of fuel.

Transport fares still remained very high. For instance, in Lagos transport fare from Ogba to CMS which was initially N300 has gone up to N500 while Ikeja to Ojuelegba which was N200 has risen to N400. Also, from Ojuelegba back to Ikeja now N500.

While some of the stations visited along Ikorodu road were dispensing at government approved N145 per litre, motorists are forced to give tips before they are attended to.

In Abuja, about 15 stations along northern outer express road otherwise known as kubwa road were empty. Very few such as the NNPC stations and MRS were dispensing.

The stories are the same in Kano where few stations were dispensing with few nozzles along Zaria road.

In Port Harcourt many filling stations are selling above the government approved price of N145 per litre, as black marketers continue to make good returns.

Lagos state chapter of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), chairman, Alhaji Alanamu Balogun who confirmed on Tuesday that it has received supply into its holding facilities in Lagos state, said yesterday that NNPC needs to continue to replenish the depots to eliminate gap in daily supplies.

He said as at yesterday only three trucks of 30,000 each were able to load from Mosimi depot in Ogun state to Ilorin, Kwara state.

“When scarcity starts like this, it takes a longer period to subside except there is rapid replenishment. I think NNPC failed in its strategy, if not this should never have happened. If the nation’s daily consumption is 35 million litres, definitely during December period consumption is usually above that”, he said

Meanwhile, the combined team of officials of the NNPC and the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), led by the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, heightened the tempo of unscheduled visits to fuel stations across the Federal Capital Territory suspected to be involved in underhand dealings.

Addressing journalists after the exercise, Dr. Baru noted that in line with its mandate as supplier of last resort, the NNPC would continue to work with relevant stakeholders like the DPR and Civil Defence Corps to bring to a quick end the prevailing hardship in accessing petrol across the country.