Labour Dispute: Fuel Scarcity Looms In Kaduna As NUPENG Directs Workers To Withdraw Service

A file photo of an attendant filling the fuel tank of a car.

 

The disagreement between the government and labour union in Kaduna State is worsening and its consequences already stare residents in the face.

One of the negative effects of the impasse is the looming scarcity of fuel as members of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) threaten to down tools for an initial period of five days.

This followed the directive of the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) that all workers in the state should withdraw services within the period, in protest against some of the actions of the government.

The union accused the state governor, Nasir El-Rufai, of anti-labour acts such as the sacking of many workers in the state and refusal to implement the new minimum wage.

In a circular obtained by Channels Television on Wednesday, the oil workers were directed to down tools from work from Sunday.

“Following the series of anti-labour acts and behaviour of the Kaduna State government being led by Mr El-Rufai, as shown in the mass sack of teachers and other civil servants in the state, and his refusal to implement the new minimum wage as provided for in the new minimum wage law, the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has directed that there should be a total withdrawal of services to Kaduna State by the Nigerian Workers for five days in the first instance from Sunday, 16 May 2021.

“Consequent upon that directive, you are hereby direct to effect maximum compliance of this directive for the successful execution of this campaign against anti-labour activities and behaviour of the Executive Governor of Kaduna State.

“Our solidarity remains constant for the union makes us strong!” said the circular dated May 11, 2021, and addressed to the Chairman/Secretary of the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) branch of NUPENG.

In this document, the oil workers were directed to withdraw their service from May 16, 2021.

 

First To Pay New Minimum Wage

Although the state government has since refuted the claims by the labour union, it announced in April that it would right-size its public service.

The government explained that the decision was necessary to enable it to cope with fiscal challenges and preserve its ability to use its resources for the entire state.

It noted that verification of personnel data was being conducted to determine the specific number of political appointees and civil servants that will be affected.

The government had also denied the allegations of anti-labour activities, stressing that workers have been receiving the new minimum wage since 2019.

“In September 2019, the Kaduna State government became the first government to begin paying the new N30,000 minimum wage and consequential adjustments.

“The state government also increased minimum pension to N30,000 monthly for those on the defined benefits scheme. The state is honouring these obligations and will continue to do so,” Governor El-Rufai’s spokesperson, Muyiwa Adekeye, had said in a statement on Monday last week.

A file photo of Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai.

 

He added that the state government banned casualisation of staff in 2017, the same year in which authorised establishments were approved for all the 23 Local Government Areas (LGAs).

Adekeye said Kaduna North and Kaduna South LGAs were authorised to have 256 staff each, and 304 staff were approved for each of the other 21 local councils.

Pipeline Shutdown Sparks Fear Of US Fuel Scarcity

Cars line up to fill their gas tanks at a COSTCO at Tyvola Road in Charlotte, North Carolina on May 11, 2021. Logan Cyrus / AFP
Cars line up to fill their gas tanks at a COSTCO at Tyvola Road in Charlotte, North Carolina on May 11, 2021. Logan Cyrus / AFP

 

Fears the shutdown of a major fuel pipeline would cause a gasoline shortage led to some panic buying and prompted US regulators on Tuesday to temporarily suspend clean fuel requirements in three eastern states and the nation’s capital.

A ransomware attack Friday on Colonial Pipeline forced the company to shut down its entire network, though industry experts say any shortages will be temporary.

The operator of the largest fuel conduit system in the United States, Colonial Pipeline ships gasoline and jet fuel from the Gulf Coast of Texas to the populous east coast through 5,500 miles (8,850 kilometers) of ducts that serve 50 million consumers.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Tuesday announced a one-week suspension of clean air rules in an effort to ease supply issues.

The waiver is meant “to address the fuel supply emergency caused by a cyberattack on Colonial Pipeline’s computer networks that led to the pipeline’s shutdown,” EPA Administrator Michael Regan said in a letter to the governors of Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia and the mayor of Washington.

Regan said the EPA and Energy Department “have been actively monitoring the supply of fuel” and found that “the unusual pipeline shutdown has affected gasoline supplies.”

Colonial Pipeline said it hoped to have its system back online by the end of the week, but the shutdown raised fears the shortages would cause gasoline prices to spike just ahead of the US Memorial Day holiday, the unofficial kickoff to the summer travel season.

‘No reason’ to worry

The EPA move, effective through May 18, suspends clean air rules that require urban areas to use fuel with additives like MTBE, which makes gasoline less polluting but also more expensive.

The waiver “is necessary to take action to minimize or prevent disruption of an adequate supply of gasoline to consumers,” Regan said.

Oil industry analyst Patrick De Haan said on Twitter the national average gasoline price reached $2.97 a gallon, “matching the highest since 2018.”

While some gasoline stations along the east coast are running out of fuel, he cautioned against overreacting.

“Rack prices, or the prices stations pay for gasoline, rose only by a couple of cents today throughout the southeastern US. There is no pending spike coming to (gas prices) in the area, folks. No reason to freak out,” De Haan said.

Oil prices already had been on the rise as the global economic reopening accelerated, rebounding to just over $68 a barrel Tuesday from less than $22 in April 2020.

John Catsimatidis, CEO of United Refining Company which processes over 70,000 barrels per-day of oil and owns over 400 gas stations in the New York area, said on Monday that the pipeline shutdown will send prices higher, estimating an impact of “at least four cents a gallon.”

Meanwhile, Shell spokesman Curtis Smith said “It’s still too early to know about the potential impacts to product flow.”

 

AFP

Motorists Lament Difficulty As Fuel Queues Return

Motorists in search of fuel at an NNPC station in Abuja

 

The queues for petrol have gone worse in some parts of the country especially in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

Motorists besieged the few outlets that were open for business in the FCT.

Some of the motorists who spoke with Channels Television say they spend as much as five hours to access fuel.

READ ALSO: FG Raises Concern Over Possible Scarcity Of Petrol

This comes against the backdrop of speculations that the pump price of petrol may be increased.

However, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) insists that there is no increment in the ex-depot price of petrol.

The Corporation also stated that it has enough stock of petrol to keep the nation well supplied for over 40 days and therefore, urged motorists to avoid panic buying.

 

See photos of fuel queues in Abuja, below…

FG Raises Concern Over Possible Scarcity Of Petrol

A file photo of an attendant filling the fuel tank of a car.

 

The Nigerian Government is worried about the possibility of a scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), also known as petrol, in the country.

Mr Timipre Sylva, who is the Minister of State for Petroleum, raised the concern on Monday at a late-night meeting between the government and leaders of the organised labour.

The meeting was a continuation of the series of dialogues between both parties in a bid to persuade the labour unions not to go on strike over the increase in the price of petrol and electricity tariff.

At the resumed sitting, the Technical Committee on PMS presented its report while the Committee on Electricity Tariff said its work was ongoing.

READ ALSO: People Became Billionaires From COVID-19 Fund Misappropriation, Federal Lawmaker Alleges

Presenting the report, Chairman of the Technical Committee on PMS, Onochie Anyaoku, highlighted the areas where the government should work on to reduce the price of petrol.

Thereafter, the meeting then entered into a closed-door session to consider the report presented by Mr Anyaoku while the labour leaders requested 21 days to study the report.

After about three hours later, Mr Sylva and the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Nigige, who was also at the meeting briefed reporters on the government’s decision on the report presented.

Mr Sylva warned that another three weeks to study the report could have an effect on the availability of petroleum products in the market.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, as well as the Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari, also attended the meeting.

A fuel station in Lagos sells petrol at N162 per litre.

 

The labour leaders were led by President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba, and President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Quadri Olaleye.

In November 2020, the government raised the depot price of petrol from N147.67 to N155.17 per litre, forcing marketers to sell between N165 and N173 naira per litre in various parts of the country.

Despite the announcement of N5 reduction by the government amid the controversy that trailed the increment, Nigerians have continued to bear the burden of the price hike.

The meeting to resolve the issues of increased petrol pump price and electricity tariff was adjourned in December 2020, with hopes that it would be reconvened on January 25, 2021.

At the opening of the discussion, Mr Mustapha assured the labour leaders that the government was ready to implement the overall agreement that would be reached at the end of the day to minimise industrial actions.

On their part, Mr Wabba and Mr Olaleye said the unions were committed to ensuring that the negotiations yielded the needed results.

Fuel Scarcity Looms As PENGASSAN Declares Nationwide Strike

 

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has declared a nationwide strike, sparking fears of fuel scarcity in the country.

PENGASSAN President, Festus Osifo, confirmed the union’s position during his appearance on Sunrise Daily on Monday.

“Today, PENGASSAN has declared a strike,” he said in an interview on the Channels Television breakfast programme.

He added, “Today our members are sitting at home and we will continually watch the situation and if we need to rev it up, we will definitely rev it up.”

Osifo explained that the industrial action followed the inability of the Federal Government to address the issues raised by the oil and gas workers.

He stated that the union had given the government a seven-day ultimatum in a statement issued on Monday last week to respond to the issues.

A file photo of an attendant filling the fuel tank of a car.

 

Another issue that is of concern to the union, according to the PENGASSAN president, is that relating to the action of a private oil company.

He accused the company of destroying PENGASSAN structure in its workforce, stressing that the management sacked literarily all union executive members and went ahead to lock members out for a very long time.

 

Govt’s Negligence Brought Us Where We Are

The major issues raised by the oil and gas workers were a fallout of the implementation of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) by the government regarding the payment of salaries.

In his reaction, Osifo accused the government of negligence in the manner it was handling the issues, saying that has led the union to take the decision to go on strike.

He stated that the union made several attempts to resolve the issues raised as a result of the shortfall in workers’ salaries and arrears.

“It is negligence on the part of the government representatives, that we are where we are today.”

While the union said that it does not have a preference for any tool used by the government to pay salaries, workers’ remuneration must be paid without any shortfall.

Osifo decried that the arrears and allowances of some union members at the Petroleum Training Institute (PTI), Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NNRA), and the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), were ceased sometimes in the year.

 

Do Not Short-Change Our Members

He explained that the conversation on the issue of IPPIS started several years ago and PENGASSAN engaged relevant government agencies on how the platform should be structured to take cognisance of workers’ pay in the oil and gas sector.

“We agreed with the government that we should set up a technical committee that will look into these issues one after the other, to be sure that our specific earning in the oil and gas industry is taken care of.

“At the end of the day, the committee was set up but the government was not committed to it, we fixed a date for a meeting and when our members get there, we will wait from morning till night, and nothing was done,” the PENGASSAN president said.

He added, “For us in PENGASSAN, we don’t specifically mind the tool that the government will use in paying our salaries, but what we are saying is that any tool that you want to use in paying our salaries must not short-change our members.

“Today, they have forcefully enrolled our members in NNRA without data capturing and without biometrics.

“In NNRA today, they paid them the last two months salary via IPPIS and it will shock you to note that most of our members got at least 30 per cent reduction in their pay and a lot of allowances that they earn were nor paid as well.”

Channels Television made an attempt to get a representative of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment to respond to the allegations but nobody showed up before the end of the breakfast show.

Fuel Scarcity: Liberia Suspends Petrol Import Licenses

Liberia is a country in West Africa.
Liberia is a country in West Africa.

 

Liberia has suspended all petrol import licenses and will conduct performance reviews following a crippling fuel shortage in which importers were accused of inflating their reserves. 

The government said it had sacked a deputy managing director of the state-owned company charged with ensuring consistent oil supplies on Friday, as well as suspending import licenses.

The West African country’s weeks-long petrol shortage ended last month, after having caused considerable disruption as commuters queued for hours at petrol pumps and businesses struggled to transport goods.

Fuel distributors and importers were accused of overstating their reserves to the Liberia Petroleum Refinery Company (LPRC) — in charge of fuel supply — leading to shortages.

The problem was also compounded by an undredged port which prevented large tankers from docking and alleviating the crisis, government officials said at the time.

Liberian President George Weah said on Friday that the government was creating a special task force to investigate what went wrong.

Bobby Brown, the LPRC deputy managing director for operations, has been dismissed for “gross negligence and fraudulent activities,” the statement said.

Likewise, all petrol import licenses have been suspended pending case-by-case reviews, according to the statement.

The fuel shortage represented another blow for Weah, who has faced protests over poor living conditions in the impoverished country of some 4.8 million people.

The footballer-turned-president inherited an economy already devastated by back-to-back civil wars from 1989 to 2003, and by the 2014-2016 West Africa Ebola outbreak.

 

AFP

No Fuel Scarcity During Yuletide, DPR Assures Nigerians

DPR Area Controller, Engineer Abdullahi Jankara has allayed fears of fuel scarcity during the yuletide season.

 

The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has assured Nigerians that there wouldn’t be scarcity of petroleum products during the yuletide period.

Speaking during a stakeholders meeting in Niger on Friday, the DPR Area Controller, Engineer Abdullahi Jankara said the agency is working round the clock to monitor the distribution of products.

“You can go home and sleep with two of your eyes closed. We are not foreseeing any scarcity of petroleum products this December. And DPR is on top of its work to ensure that all the products that come to Niger State are monitored to the last point they ought to be.

“So the idea of somebody nursing an idea that there will be scarcity, sleep with your two eyes closed because there will be nothing like that,” he said.

READ ALSO: Court Sentences Professor To Death For Blasphemy

Speaking further, the DPR boss warned oil and gas marketers in the state to desist from compromising safety regulations.

According to him, marketers who go contrary to the warning will have their licences withdrawn to serve as a deterrent to others.

Jankara regretted that most products lost affect the revenue input of the agency, thus blaming it on the activities of some oil marketers.

He noted that the agency organised the stakeholders meeting to engage rather that punish them in order to keep them acquainted with the regulations in place.

Meanwhile, the Niger State government has reiterated its commitment to improve on the road infrastructure for the easy movement of petroleum products.

Sunday Kolo who represented Governor Abubakar Bello, stated this while reacting to complaints by marketers on the condition of roads in the state.

He however appealed to tanker drivers to cooperate with the government to make it possible.

With Queues And Blackouts, Cubans Suffer Fuel Crisis

Car drivers line up to get their tanks filled at a gas station in Havana, on September 19, 2019. Cuban President Miguel Diaz Canel blamed the United States for Cuba’s fuel shortage. In his address, he said the “low availability of diesel” will affect transport, distribution and electricity generation. The US Treasury Department has imposed sanctions on various companies for transporting Venezuelan petroleum to Cuba. PHOTO: YAMIL LAGE / AFP

 

Ernesto Mirabal gave up a night’s sleep for a few gallons of gas at a Havana service station, where lining up for five hours has become the norm during a severe fuel shortage on the Communist-run island.

Since President Miguel Diaz-Canel’s shock announcement on September 11 that the country was facing the fuel shortfall, widespread uncertainty and a degree of panic have gripped the nation.

Mirabal, a taxi driver, had no choice but to while away his sleeping hours queuing for gas.

“I got here a little after 11 o’clock and was able to put gas in the car at four in the morning,” said Mirabal, 48. “I had to do it because I had a customer to pick up at 7 o’clock.”

“I’ve got enough fuel for today and tomorrow now. But the day after tomorrow I have to start all over again.”

– Drastic measures –

Images of long lines of people waiting endless hours outside service stations have flooded Cubans’ Twitter and Facebook timelines over the past week.

WhatsApp groups have sprung up around the burning question of the day: “Where can I get fuel?”

In public companies and offices, schedules have been cut back, air conditioners have hummed to a halt and electricity blackouts imposed for a few hours a day. Some companies have sent their workers home.

Garbage accumulates in the streets as collections are cut back, a blow to the health ministry’s battle against resurgent dengue fever, a deadly strain of which is worrying authorities.

The drastic measures in place for the past week remind many of the Special Period, the dark days of extreme shortages in the 1990s which followed the collapse of Cuba’s main sponsor, the Soviet Union.

Some measures indeed mirror those of 25 years ago as the nation tries to cope.

With public transport reduced to bare minimum service, traffic police flag down drivers of state-owned vehicles to demand they take on passengers.

But the starkest example of Cuba’s fuel crisis can be seen in the sugar cane plantations, where oxen are being brought in to replace the machines that power the country’s biggest export.

– Panic –

“People think the fuel will run out and so everyone is trying to accumulate as much as possible,” said Omar Everleny, an economist.

“They believe things will get even more complicated, despite what the authorities say.”

Diaz-Canel promised a return to “relative normality” by October.

Despite an official prohibition, many motorists fill up jerrycans at service stations, in addition to their cars.

The government is keeping up a barrage of reassuring messages, with the president calling on citizens to “think like a country” and stand together at this time of need.

Diaz-Canel has blamed the shortages on increasingly aggressive US sanctions against Cuba and its oil-source ally Venezuela.

“Imperialism is not going to ruin our lives or take our sleep away,” the president tweeted on Thursday as the crisis entered its second week.

“We are facing up to this situation, we are implementing systematic economy measures, we are growing and we will win.”

Like many others, however, Everleny, the economist, doesn’t buy the government line.

“If the country is paralyzed, where will the growth come from?” He asked, citing a decline in tourist arrivals from Europe. Cruise ships that brought thousands of American visitors every week have been banned since June, as part of the US sanctions.

The fuel shortage is indicative of the country’s currency crisis.

Cuba has no alternative to oil from Venezuela which is paid for in part by sending Cuban doctors to Caracas to shore up a collapsing medical system.

And as for the return to normal promised by Diaz-Canel, Everleny warns: “Normal would mean a return to a period of weak growth and uncertainty.”

AFP

Kaduna Residents Cry Out As Petrol Stations Sell Above N145

 

Residents of Kaduna state have cried out to the government over the alleged refusal of some petrol marketers to sell the product at the approved pump price of N145 per litre.

Speaking to Channels Television’s correspondent in the state on Saturday, some residents said despite the increase in the daily supply of petrol to Kaduna state and environs by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), and the warning by the Department of Petroluem Resources (DPR) to sanction any marketer selling above N145 per litre, the product is still being sold as high as N190 per litre in some stations.

They also expressed frustration that despite not benefiting from lower global oil prices, they were still being short-changed by adjusted pumps by marketers.

Responding to the complaints, the Department of Petroleum Resources said that it was fully aware of the situation and the agency had caught and sanctioned over 10 petrol stations for various offences ranging from hoarding, under dispensing and selling above pump price.

DPR Zonal Controller in Kaduna state, Isa Tafida, who led the operation warned marketers to stick to the official pump price to make life easy for Nigerians or have their licenses withdrawn.

He said it was possible for oil marketers to sell petrol at the approved price and still make a decent profit, instead of indulging in sharp practices.

“You know that Hunkuyi is over one hundred kilometres away from Kaduna, so they are taking advantage of the remote location of this particular area to be selling above pump price.

“They were caught by our surveillance team selling a litre of petrol for N190 and they have about 13,000 litres underground selling to the public.

“So we locked up the station, now we are here to open it so that we can sell the product to the public.

“They are cheating members of the public on the price and also on the quantity. So I am calling on other marketers to know that they can’t take advantage of the location to hike the price, we are everywhere. There is no hidden place for any marketer to sell above pump price and we won’t catch him. Apart from sealing the station, the company must also pay a penalty of N100,000 per pump,” he said.

While relative stability gradually returns and queues at filling stations are reduced, many believe that one major to way to bring a stop to the issues is for the government to revive the country’s refineries.

NNPC To Distribute Two Cargoes Of Petrol Daily In February

NNPC To Distribute Two Cargoes of Petrol Daily In February
File photo

 

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) says it has programmed to bring in two cargoes of petrol per day for the rest of February to boost supply.

NNPC Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr Ndu Ughamadu, disclosed this in a statement issued by him on Thursday in Abuja.

He said the decision was part of the measures taken to keep Nigeria wet with petrol and eradicate the fuel queues that have resurfaced in some cities.

According to Ughamadu, each of the two cargoes is 50 million litres, making a total of 100 million litres that will be brought in per day for the rest of the month to increase supply and replenish strategic reserves.

In a bid to enhance fuel supply, he revealed that 45 million litres of petrol were discharged from ships into jetties across the country on Wednesday.

“Prior to the fresh 45 million litres discharge, there were 324 million litres of petrol on land and 432 million litres in marine storage, making a total of 756 million litres – enough to last for 22 days at 35 million daily consumption rate,” the statement said.

The jetties that received the 45 million litres shipments include Nacj, Apapa; Bop, Apapa; Techo Jetty, Lagos; Dutchess, Oghara; Vine Jetty, Calabar; Chipet Jetty, Lagos; and ECM Jetty, Calabar.

The NNPC spokesman also revealed steps taken by the corporation to ensure efficient distribution of petrol to depots in the hinterland.

In addition to massive trucking arrangement already in place, he said the Nigerian Pipeline and Storage Company (NPSC), a midstream subsidiary of the NNPC, has been mandated to fix relevant pipelines to facilitate seamless pumping.

The corporation has assured Nigerians that with the measures in place, the fuel queues being experienced in some cities would soon be a thing of the past.

Senate Orders NNPC To End Fuel Queues In Seven Days

 

The Senate has ordered the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to bring an end to the lingering fuel crisis in the country within the next seven days.

The Senate gave the order on Thursday following a presentation by the NNPC Group Managing Director, Dr Maikanti Baru, before the Joint National Assembly Committee on Petroleum Downstream in Abuja (on Wednesday).

Mr Baru informed the lawmakers that if the activities of the fuel truck diverters and smugglers were left unchecked, it would be absolutely difficult to guarantee round-the-clock availability of petrol throughout the country.

He added that the sudden and unnatural shock in fuel consumption to record levels has over-stretched the Direct-Sale-Direct-Supply (DSDP) crude for product supply arrangement which was originally based on 35 million per day petrol consumption pattern.

Furthermore, he suggested that with the current unprecedented average daily fuel evacuation of 55 million litres since December 1, 2017, to date, it was imperative for the security agencies to close-in on the smuggling syndicates who were cashing in on the obvious petrol price differentials between Nigeria and neighboring countries to make illicit profits.

Read Also: Fuel Scarcity: NNPC Says Porous Borders Affecting Distribution

To sustain adequate supply of petroleum products and national energy security, he stressed the need for the Federal Government to provide flush volumes in January and March 2018.

At the resumption of plenary on Thursday, the Senate in a resolution, directed the NNPC to end fuel queues in seven days.

It also directed all security agencies to ensure effective border control measures and avoid the smuggling of petroleum products.

Furthermore, it asked the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to double their efforts in enforcing price control and monitoring.

Fuel Scarcity: NNPC Says Porous Borders Affecting Distribution

Fuel Scarcity: NNPC Says Porous Borders Affecting Distribution
File photo: Maikanti Baru

 

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has raised alarm over the sustained nefarious activities of some cross-border fuel smuggling syndicates and hoarders in the country.

The Corporation also noted that such activities have so far impeded its efforts to sanitise the fuel supply and distribution matrix across Nigeria.

NNPC Group Managing Director, Dr Maikanti Baru, said this on Wednesday in a presentation before the Joint National Assembly Committee on Petroleum Downstream in Abuja.

He informed the lawmakers that if the activities of the fuel truck diverters and smugglers were left unchecked, it would be absolutely difficult to guarantee round-the-clock availability of petrol throughout the country.

Baru added that the sudden and unnatural shock in fuel consumption to record levels has over-stretched the Direct-Sale-Direct-Supply (DSDP) crude for product supply arrangement which was originally based on 35 million per day petrol consumption pattern.

He lamented that with the current unprecedented average daily fuel evacuation of 55 million litres since December 1, 2017, to date, it was imperative for the security agencies to close-in on the smuggling syndicates who were cashing in on the obvious petrol price differentials between Nigeria and neighboring countries to make illicit profits.

The NNPC boss explained further that apart from straining the ability of the Corporation to sustain the prevailing 100 per cent petrol importation in the face of increasing cost, the current situation was impacting negatively on NNPC’s resources for servicing Joint Venture Cash-Call and other obligations.

To sustain adequate supply of petroleum products and national energy security, he, however, stress the need for the Federal Government to provide flush volumes in January and March 2018.

He also advised government to create an enabling environment for other oil marketing companies to participate in the importation of petroleum products.

Baru opined that supply should be doubled in order to raise the fuel sufficiency template back to the 30 days threshold from the current 15 days, thereby bringing in at least two vessels per day for 20 days.

He also informed the committee that the Corporation would require additional funding outside the DSDP regime to achieve this.

On the prevailing fuel scarcity, he said measures put in place include engagement of the Nigerian Navy, Federal Road Safety Corps and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) to improve truck movement among others.

The NNPC GMD added that in addition to the regular DSDP monthly programmed deliveries, the NNPC imported 12 cargoes – nine in December 2017 and three in January 2018.

In his response, Chairman of the NASS Joint Committee, Senator Kabiru Marafa, directed the NNPC to resolve the situation within seven days.

Baru’s presentation was contained in a statement signed by the NNPC Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr Ndu Ughamadu.