Major Stakeholder Identifies Causes Of Petrol Scarcity

petrol scarcityA major stakeholder in the petroleum sector, Mr Uche Ezeala, says until the issue of subsidy and distribution chain of petroleum products are tackled, petrol scarcity will continue to linger.

Mr Ezeala is the National Chairman of Marine, Land and Border Operation in charge of Monitoring, Distribution of Petroleum Products and Enforcement, of the Independent Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN).

He made the statement while giving his opinion on major causes of petrol scarcity in an interview with Channels Television in Anambra State.

Mr Ezeala maintained that several sharp practices perpetrated by personnel at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) depot, especially, the diversion of petrol across the border, which he urged the corporation to tackle aggressively and bring it to an end, had contributed greatly to the short fall in supply.

If not tackled, just a few cabal would continue to benefit from the nation’s common wealth, he said.

Everywhere in Nigeria, petrol queues stretch beyond the capture of the eyes and the agony and pain written on the faces of the people are very obvious.

It has lingered for months and citizens buy the product at varying rates in various states.

In Anambra State, it is sold between 190 and 200 Naira presently as against the 86.50 Naira official price.

The ugly situation drew the irk of Mr Ezeala, entrusted with the responsibility of checking sharp practices in the petroleum products distribution chain in collaboration with the Nigerian Securities and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).

To end the scarcity, Mr Ezeala suggested that the Federal Government should give IPMAN the liberty through the Marine, Land and Border Operations to checkmate the excesses of the NNPC distribution chain and within one week resolve the issue of fuel scarcity and price hike.

Nothing will soothe Nigerians more than having the fuel situation resolved, as the burden of catering to transportation issues, business and social activities and even personal comfort is increasing by the day with little or no commensurate resources.

NUPENG Leader Hopeful OF End To Petrol Scarcity In April

Petrol Scarcity in NigeriaThe national President of the National Union Of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Mr Igwe Achese, is hopeful that before the end of April, the petrol scarcity witnessed across Nigeria.

He said that the union had, at a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday advised the government to put in necessary policies that would adequately regulate the prices of petroleum products.

Mr Achese told Channels Television in a telephone interview on Friday that the stakeholders at the meeting agreed to work together in making sure that product distribution were not being hindered.

“I strongly believe that by the end of April scarcity will be off the street but the more important thing is the political will of stakeholders in the sector to see how to get scarcity off the street.

“With the passion the President spoke about the situation, I am strongly convinced that scarcity will soon end,” he stated.

Petrol Still Sells Above FG Approved Price In Delta

fuel-petrolIn spite of the Federal Government’s directive that a litre of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), also known as petrol, be sold for N86.50K, most petrol stations operating in Delta State are yet to comply with the order with many filling stations reluctant to adjust their pump prices. 

The Federal Government recently slashed the pump price of petrol from N87 per litre to N86.50K.

While many hailed the action, some others believe the reduction is too little and insignificant compared to the prices of the product at the international market.

Visiting Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) across the state, Channels Television discovered that they have adjusted their metres to comply with the new pump price. A few others also adjusted their pump price.

Some customers gave the opinion that the Federal Government needs to put measures in place that will enforce implementation of the directive.

The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), through its Technical Assistant to the Zonal Operations Controller in Warri, Mr Victor Owhodiasa, warned that defaulters will be appropriately punished.

Many of the station managers declined comments when they were asked why they were selling above pump price, with long queues persisting in most filling stations in the state.

Kaduna Refinery Begins 3.2mln Litres Daily Supply Of Petrol

Kaduna-Refinery-plant producing petrolThe Kaduna Refining and Petroleum Company has started daily production of 3.2 million litres of petrol, a vloume authorities hope will end queues at fuel service stations across Nigeria.

A statement by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) confirmed that the plant, which commenced production over the weekend with an initial Premium Motor Spirit yield of about 1.5 million litres, has ramped up its daily yield to 3.2 million litres.

“The injection of this volume into the system will significantly impact ongoing special intervention efforts designed to bring relief to motorists across the country,” the Corporation stated.

‘Economic Saboteurs’

The NNPC also said that less than 48 hours after the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, ordered staff of the NNPC to intervene in the monitoring of fuel distribution and retail system at service stations across Nigeria, the initiative has started yielding positive results in Abuja and environs.

Dr. Kachikwu had assured Nigerians that there was sufficient petrol and again appealed to motorists to desist from panic purchases.

He also warned that unscrupulous marketers, who either hoard or divert products, would henceforth be treated as economic saboteurs.

Shortly after visiting some retail outlets within Abuja’s Central Area, the Group Executive Director, Commercial and Investment of the NNPC, Dr. Babatunde Victor Adeniran, told reporters that so far, the exercise had recorded some success.

“Our staff are putting in all their best to ensure that orderliness is restored in most of the filling stations. They are also there to ensure that nobody creates a situation that will hamper the discharge of products to ordinary Nigerians. So far, they are doing well in this regard,”Dr. Adeniran stated.

“Spirit Of Orderliness”

He explained that the exercise was a hands-on approach designed to ensure that Nigerians do not suffer unnecessarily at the hands of unscrupulous marketers.

“The situation would be improved upon,” he said, urging security agencies to further complement the efforts of NNPC at service stations.

“At one of the filling stations in Asokoro today, the police came to assist us to clear out some motorists trying to jump the queue. That is most commendable,” he said.

Dr. Adeniran further urged Nigerians to cooperate with the NNPC and ensure the success of the initiative by being law-abiding and orderly to avoid chaotic situations at the service stations.

“I hope Nigerians can have the spirit of orderliness, the spirit of cohesion and the spirit of responsibility in order to help this process,” he observed.

It is two days to Christmas and queues are still seen at different service stations in some Nigerian States.

The Pipelines and Product Marketing Company (PPMC) had on Monday assured Nigerians that petrol queues across the nation would have ceased before Christmas.

The Managing Director of the PPMC, Esther Nnamdi-Ogbe, gave the assurance while listing efforts the company had made to ensure that the scarcity of petrol would end in the next few days.

Fuel Scarcity Will Be Over In Days – Minister

Fuel Scarcity Will Be Over In Days - Minister-Lai-Mohammed-APCThe Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, has assured Nigerians that the current fuel scarcity would be over in a matter of days.

The minister gave the hint on Wednesday in a statement signed by his spokesman, Segun Adeyemi, following the approval of a supplementary budget that made provision for the subsidy payment by the National Assembly (NASS).

He said: “We can confidently announce here today that the scarcity will end in a few days. Subsidy payment till the end of the year has been approved by the National Assembly, and as you know, we cannot spend money without approval,” the Minister said in Abuja.

Mr Mohammed maintained that the 521 billion Naira that was approved by the NASS, as part of the passed supplementary budget of 574.4 billion Naira, would be enough to cover the fuel subsidy till the end of the year.

He said the kind of fuel scarcity that had triggered vehicular queues across the country would no longer occur.

“We can assure you that we will not be caught in this kind of situation again,” He reiterated.

The Information Minister announced a plan to set up an ad-hoc committee comprising representatives of the government, the military and the media to enhance the exchange of information, especially concerning the war against terrorism.

He said that the 2016 budget would soon be submitted to the NASS while expressing optimism that “it will address the yearnings of Nigerians”.

Abuja Service Stations Get 8mln Litres Of Petrol

Fuel tankers lifting fuel to Abuja, NigeriaThe Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has announced the distribution of eight million litres of Premium Motor Spirit to fuel stations across Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory.

The zonal Operations Comptroller of the agency, Mr Mohammed Usman, told reporters in Abuja on Tuesday that the agency was doing all it could to ameliorate the sufferings of Nigerians, as a result of the scarcity of petrol.

Motorists in some petrol stations confirmed the announcement.

They told Channels Television that they now queue for about two hours to get the product.

It is a few days to the June 13 deadline given by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation to end fuel queues in the country.

Although the long queues appear to have reduced, some residents, Osas Victor and Olamide Joseph, said they were eager to see the end to Nigeria’s worst petrol scarcity period.

To reduce the sufferings of Nigerians and to ensure that they are not short changed, the Zonal Coordinator of the DPR, Mohammed Usman, said officials of the agency were monitoring fuel supply in the city centre.

For now, many petrol stations in the nation’s capital are opened for motorists to buy the product.

Residents said they are optimistic that the situation would get better.

Shops, Vehicles Burnt As Tanker Falls Off Lagos Bridge

Iyana-Ipaja Tanker fireSeveral shops and vehicles have be destroyed by fire after a tanker loaded with petrol veered off a bridge at Iyana Ipaja area of Lagos State and exploded.

The fire burnt the line of shops, covering over 50 metres by the road side.

According to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the incident was reported at about 12:58am.

A spokesman for the NEMA, Ibrahim Farinloye, said: “We received the alert around 12:58am and we swung into action. Unfortunately it was a late action. When we heard it, we thought it was a pipeline fire. We deployed fire service to the area.Iyana Ipaja Tanker fire

“We were able to contain it…. The police got to the scene and were able to also ward-off so many people that had wanted to turn the place to a place for sightseeing”.

No casualty has been reported in the incident that occurred two days after a similar incident in Ontisha in Anambra State left 69 persons dead.

Saraki Calls For Removal Of Petroleum Subsidy

Bukola-SarakiA federal lawmaker, Senator Bukola Saraki, has urged the Nigerian Government to completely remove fuel subsidy and restore normalcy to the sector.

Addressing reporters in Abuja on Monday after the Senate held a meeting with petroleum marketers, Senator Saraki claimed fuel subsidy had provided a platform for fraudulent activities to oil marketers and government officials.

The Senator said the subsidy was used to loot the national treasury on a yearly basis.

He argued that it would be better to remove fuel subsidy and deliver the sector and the citizenry from the grip of racketeers in the industry, who would never allow things to work well because of their selfish interest.

Senator Saraki’s comments were made in line with the fuel scarcity in Nigeria.

In most states of the oil-rich nation, the fuel scarcity is biting hard, causing hike in the cost of food items and transport fare.

Service stations are selling fuel far above the official price of 87 Naira per litre.

Few service stations that have the product sell above 300 Naira per litre.

Senator Saraki is a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the incoming President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari, who is also a member of the APC, had said he would look into the fuel subsidy implementation and address challenges in the oil and gas sector.

The situation has forced several businesses that are dependent on fuel for electricity generation to shut down.

Fuel Scarcity Is Consequence Of Proper Process Negligence – Esele

Peter Esele on Fuel Scarcity Weeks of fuel scarcity gradually affecting the Nigerian economy, with individuals losing man hours at service stations, is a consequence of negligence of proper process, a formal official of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) said.

Several service stations have closed down, with few selling fuel at very high prices, far more than the 87 Naira official price.

Businesses depending hugely on generating sets as source of electricity are shutting down in the oil-rich nation.

The government says it has paid over 150 billion Naira to marketers of the product but that has not reflected. Markets are insisting that all monies owed must be paid before a new administration takes over by May 29.

Mr Peter Esele who was also the President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) told Channels Television that the government was owning the marketers over 356 billion Naira out of which it paid only 156 billion Naira. Over 200 billion Naira is still outstanding, an amount that the marketers are demanding for to make petroleum products available.

Giving his opinion about the fuel scarcity, Mr Esele said the marketers’ fears were that they may not be able to collect their outstanding money when the new government comes in.

“The bottom line is that they are businessmen. There is no way there is no under-the-table deal going on in that sector. So they want to get their money before the new administration,” he said.

The former PENGASSAN President stressed that the major problem in the petroleum sector was poor adherence to proper process, saying there are no records of when the ships come in and how many litres were brought in.

“In 2012 the TUC had made a presentation before the Senate on a lot of sharp practices going on in the subsidy regime.

“When things are allowed to go on in a manner that is not good, we wait for the next time. We are talking about this now because there is scarcity. The process leading to this scarcity that we had overlooked is the consequences of the action we are facing right now.

“It is a huge security risk and the productivity in the economy is being affected, with people wasting man-hours at service stations,” he stated.

Mr Esele also identified poor implementation of laws governing activities in the sector as another factor that had contributed to the fuel scarcity.

“Our institutions are weak. Institutions are weak because people are not respecting the laws that set them up.

“They are more of individuals. And the other part is that so many things exchange hands.

“You can’t call the marketers to order when all your products are imported.

“They have monopoly.

“Until we have refineries here, we do not have so much control over what the marketers do,” he explained.

The former TUC President expressed optimism that the incoming government would be able to tackle the issues in the petroleum sector, bringing serenity to the sector he said had so much sharp practices going on.

“One thing about the President-elect (General Muhammadu Buhari) is that there is a universal agreement that he is not corrupt. That gives him a high moral authority to make everybody fall in line with what he wants to do.”

He, however, warned that the whole of 2015 would be a tough year. “The price of crude has come down, workers’ salaries are delayed and 80 per cent revenue for the federation comes from crude oil sales. But if the incoming government could overcome the challenges he will be a hero.

“We must have to adjust to the current reality and the incoming administration should set a goal to stop importation of the product.

“If the process to remove subsidy is right with specific amount removed every year and people are seeing the benefit from the removal, it will go down well.

“The government should give Dangote the support he needs to make sure that his refinery comes up,” he stressed.

Man Hours Lost As Fuel Scarcity Hits Nigeria’s Capital City

Fuel-scarcityIt is no longer business as usual at petrol stations in the Federal Capital Territory, as residents queue for as long as five hours to buy petrol.

When Channels Television’s crew visited some of the fuel stations in Abuja on Saturday, long stretch of queues were seen and many residents complain bitterly about the situation.

The commuters are asking the government to wade into the matter to ease their hardship.

It has been like that in the past few days, some of them said, lamenting that the time wasting at the petrol stations have become the order of the day for most residents.

At the Oando filling station, Herbert Macaulay Way, commuters had a long wait with no availability of the product.

The supervisor at the station, Al-hassan Abubakar, explained that there had been shortage in the supply of petrol.

At the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) mega station, it was a quite different scenario, as all the pumps are dispensing product, only that commuters have to deal with the long queue.

Although, it is not yet clear when this whole hardship currently experienced by residents of the Federal Capital Territory and other parts of the country will end, the NNPC said on Friday it added 688 million litres of petrol in the market, dousing fears raised by scarcity witnessed in some states.

The corporation’s spokesman, Mr Ohi Alegbe, in a statement, said there was no need for panic buying which he said might be the reason for the recent artificial fuel scarcity.

“The Corporation is working with all downstream industry stakeholders to eliminate the noticeable artificially induced fuel queues in some fuel stations,” the statement read.

He assured Nigerians that the NNPC had enough products to go round for use across the country and advised against panic buying and hoarding of petroleum products.

Tanker Drivers Strike Over Bad Road Triggers Fuel Scarcity In Rivers

fuel-subsidy-An industrial action called by tanker drivers in Rivers State has triggered fuel scarcity, with long queues gradually building-up at different fuel stations in Port Harcourt, the state’s capital.

The short supply has forced most fuel stations in the city to stop selling what they had.

Those who spoke to Channels Television on Tuesday expressed worries that the cause of the situation is not clear.

Meanwhile, in a telephone conversation, the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas workers (NUPENG) zonal chairman Port Harcourt branch, Comrade Godwin Eruba, said that the tanker drivers’ branch of NUPENG in the eastern zone was on strike over the poor conditions of some link roads in the zone.

He said that the strike was to get the government’s attention.

The refinery-Eleme and the Umuahia-Okigie roads are some of the link roads in very bad conditions that the group are asking the government to fix.

Comrade Eruba also stated that the fuel situation in Port Harcourt was due to the high demand for product which was at the moment not in supply.

Mobil Filling Station Razed By Fire

lagos fireA fire outbreak in a fuel station in Oba Akran in Ikeja, Lagos State capital, has left several vehicles burnt after efforts to extinguish the fire failed to yield results.

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) says that the fire started at about 06:05am local time on Wednesday after a tanker loaded with petrol, hit an iron rod while trying to make its way into the filling station.

The fire, which resulted from the gushing petrol, left five vehicles and the tanker completely burnt.

NEMA says the tanker had difficulty accessing the filling station because of the vehicles queuing for petrol at the station.

the agency also said that the fire service had put the fire out and that no lives were lost in the incident.

The scarcity of fuel currently witnessed in Lagos State has led to long queues at fuel stations where vehicle users  and business owner buying fuel in gallons could get petrol for their vehicles and generators.

Chances are that the burnt tanker would contribute more to the scarcity, that the spokesman for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Omar Farouk Ibrahim, had described as an artificially induced scarcity.

He had told Channels Television on March 3 that there were absolutely no reasons for filling stations not to sell fuel to the people.

Meanwhile, the management of Mobil Oil Nigeria PLC said it responded promptly to the fire incident.

A spokesman for the company, Mr Akin Fatunke, in a telephone interview with Channels Television, said that a pole fell on a woman and that she had been rushed to the hospital.

He also stated that Mobil would be carrying out a thorough investigation into the incident after which they will make their finding known to the public and compensate those whose property got damaged.