NNPC, marketers in war of words over fuel scarcity

The Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation has blamed the lingering fuel scarcity in the country on panic buying and sharp practices by some petroleum marketers who are exploiting the present situation to make more money.


Fuel scarcity in Lagos

The company also vowed that the fuel queues across the country would end next week, noting that it had enough litres of fuel to end the scarcity.

Petroleum marketers, however, disagreed with the position of the NNPC, insisting that inadequate supply was a major reason for the persisting fuel scarcity.

Recall that on Tuesday, the NNPC spokesperson, Femi Soneye, assured that the ongoing shortage in supply of petroleum products and queues for the products would be cleared by May 1.

According to him, the company had more than 1.5 billion litres of petroleum products available, enough to last for at least 30 days. He added that some individuals might be exploiting the situation to maximise profit.

The Major Energies Marketers Association of Nigeria had in a statement said its members in Apapa and other locations in Lagos had received 300 million litres of fuel from eight vessels this week.

This was after the South-West Regional Coordinator of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, Ayo Cardoso, also confirmed to The PUNCH that aside from the 240 million litres offloaded at various depots on Monday, close to 85 million litres of petrol was offloaded as of Tuesday evening.

Cardoso stated that the government was doing its best to ensure massive distribution of PMS, adding that the product would soon be available across the country.

According to him, each state of the federation had its allocations, saying the same will be delivered to reduce the queues at filling stations.

“As I said earlier, there will be enough fuel across Nigeria soon. We have received over 300 million litres as of Tuesday. More have arrived as we speak, but I can’t give you the figure. Vessels will keep arriving in Nigeria for 15 days, which started counting on Monday, and we will keep distributing the product across the nation.

“The masses should not panic; all these will soon vanish. We are not prioritising anywhere, each state has its allocation to be delivered accordingly,” Cardoso stated.

In the last few days, the queues and shortage of petroleum products worsened the living conditions of most Nigerians as they struggled to get the product.

Roads were deserted while some individuals parked their vehicles at various filling stations pending the availability of petrol.

Hoarding of the product had also been on the increase, as some took advantage of the situation.

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