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NNPCL Blames Queues At Filling Stations In Abuja and  Some Northern States on Logistics

 Olushola Bello

Following noticeable queues at filling stations in Abuja and some states in the northern region because of lack of petrol, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited blamed the development on logistics issues, but was quick to state that it had been resolved.

Reacting to the development, Olufemi Soneye, the Chief Corporate Communications Officer, NNPC, in a press statement said the scarcity was due to issues around logistics, without giving further details.

He, however, stated that the issue had been resolved and urged motorists not to be involved in panic buying because the national oil company and sole importer of petrol had enough products.

“The NNPC Ltd wishes to clarify that the tightness in the supply of Premium Motor Spirit currently being experienced in some areas across the country is a result of logistics issues and that they have been resolved.

“It also wishes to reiterate that the prices of petroleum products are not changing. It urges Nigerians to avoid panic buying as products are sufficient in the country.”

The product suddenly disappeared from filling stations and consumers in the states affected began to wonder what was happening as they had to queue for hours before they could get the product to buy, if they were lucky that it did not finish before it got to their turn.

In Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria, the cost of the product was increased to an average of N700/litre at stations run by independent marketers, though the very limited number of NNPC retail outlets that dispensed the commodity maintained the N617/litre price approved by the oil firm.

Some marketers complained that the supply of PMS to Abuja through the Suleja Depot in Niger State had remained poor, citing the significant reduction in the number of fuel trucks that come to Suleja  Depot and other depots in the North as before.

The resultant effect of this is that thousands of commuters in both Federal Capital Territory, Nasarawa, Niger, Gombe, Sokoto and Anambra states were left stranded at various bus stops due to scarcity of PMS required by transporters to run their vehicles.

This led to a hike in transport fares in the affected states, as the few transporters who had petrol raised their rates.

Also, reacting to the situation, the Secretary of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Abuja-Suleja Branch, Mohammed Shuaibu, stated that there was still a low supply of PMS to the capital city and its environs.

“ Right now only NNPC retail stations are selling at N617/litre in Abuja and other northern states. Every other station has arbitrary prices.

“The current reception at the Suleja Depot, which supplies Abuja and its environs, is very poor, the trucks are not coming and we understand that there is a cut down in supply from the depots in Warri and Lagos where products normally come from.”

“However, the retail stations of NNPC are trying, because they are the only ones that have not changed their pump prices and have continued to make it uniform at N617/litre in the northern region.

“But outside that, all other marketers, whether major or independent dealers, their prices are not uniform. Some dispense PMS at N700/litre, while others sell at higher rates. Maybe by next week if the situation fails to improve, you will buy it at N800/litre.”

The IPMAN official urged the Federal Government to intervene by ensuring an increased supply of petrol through the NNPC, stressing that many motorists were now getting involved in panic buying.

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