The Federal Government on Tuesday met with major oil marketers in the country in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja.
Tuesday’s meeting, which comes at a time Nigerians are still counting the costs of the fuel crisis which disrupted the plans of millions for the Yuletide, was held inside the Presidential Villa.
Those in attendance include the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari; Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu; Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Maikanti Baru, the PENGASSAN Leadership, and the Director-General of Department of State Services, among others.
A day earlier, in his New Year address, President Muhammadu Buhari told Nigerians he is determined to get to the root of the fuel scarcity in the country and prevent those behind it from inflicting hardship on Nigerians again.
The General Manager, Crude Oil Marketing of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mr Mele Kyari, has attributed the lingering fuel scarcity to panic buying arising from a rumoured increment of fuel price.
Mr Kyari explained that there was no gap in supply as the NNPC has played its part in ensuring that petroleum products were being supplied.
“It started with a very smiled rumour that there will be an increase in pump price of petroleum products and that led to panic buying,” he said on Friday while appearing on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.
“People go to the (filling) stations to buy products that they don’t need. People who normally buy N2,000 worth will now buy N10,000 worth.
“And people will now rush to buy products into their cars and back to their homes to hoard and to expect that the products will not come again.
“There are people who take advantage of this situation and take products to locations that are not accessible,” he said.
The NNPC boss further explained that the deliberate hoarding of large quantities of petroleum products by individuals and corporate bodies affected the hauling plans of the corporation.
He cited the visit he and the NNPC Group Managing Director, Mr Maikanti Baru made to some stations in Abuja, the nation’s capital where it was observed some products were hoarded.
He added, “During the GMD’s visit to some locations yesterday (Thursday), there are a number of locations which are hoarding up to 36,000 litres of products.
“So that creates a haul in your supply scheme. And that haul means people actually consume or take away five days of supply in one day.
“That haul needs to be plugged in. You will, therefore, see what seem like there is a supply gap in the system.”
Chairman of the Senate Committee, Senator Kabiru Marafa, also briefed reporters on the steps taken following the directive in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.
Senator Marafa said the committee has summoned the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, and the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr Maikanti Baru.
According to him, the minister and the NNPC boss, as well as other relevant stakeholders in the petroleum sector are to attend a crucial meeting on Thursday, January 4, 2018.
The lawmaker further noted that the meeting would take place inside the Senate Hearing Room 221 where its proceedings would be broadcasted live.
He informed reporters that the discussion would address the lingering fuel scarcity bedevilling the nation in the last few weeks with a view to putting a complete stop to the unsavoury situation.
The Senate is presently on Christmas and New Year break.
The Upper House is billed to resume committee work for budget defence on Tuesday, January 9, 2018, and commence plenary on January 16, a week later.
Meanwhile, the NNPC has assured Nigerians that the fuel scarcity would be over before the weekend as it was already winning the war.
Baru, who addressed reporters on Thursday during an unscheduled visit to errant filling stations in the nation’s capital, said they have uncovered five illegal stations in two days.
He said illegal stations operating were also responsible for fuel crisis, as they rely on diverted products for supply.
“What I want the public to know is that in two days, we are able to identify five illegal stations that have products that obviously have been diverted; because we will not be giving products (to them) under a normal approved procedure of the NNPC.
“They must have gotten this product as diverted and if you divert any truck, you are actually diverting from legal stations,” the NNPC boss said.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) says it has discovered five illegal stations in two days, as parts of efforts to find a lasting solution to the fuel scarcity in Nigeria.
NNPC Group Managing Director, Dr Maikanti Baru, revealed this to reporters on Thursday in Abuja as he continues his unscheduled visits to errant filling stations in the nation’s capital.
“What I want the public to know is that in two days, we are able to identify five illegal stations that have products that obviously have been diverted; because we will not be giving products (to them) under a normal approved procedure of the NNPC,” he said.
Baru is being accompanied on the visits by a combined team of NNPC officials, that of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), and some security operatives.
According to the Corporation, the team uncovered a filling station at Bassa village behind Abuja Airport, with 39,000 litres in its stock, which was selling petrol to motorists at N240 per litre, as against the government approved pump price of N145.
Reaction to the discovery, the NNPC boss said illegal stations operating in the country were also responsible for the fuel crisis in the country.
He said they were relying on diverted products for their supply and warned that the Corporation would ensure that errant filling stations were brought to book.
“They must have gotten this product as diverted and if you divert any truck, you are actually diverting from legal stations,” Baru said.
“Those legal stations are the ones that service the public and in those areas, you will find that as a result of the diversion, there are no products and it aids the supply deficiency; So, it is necessary for us to take them (the illegal stations) out,” he added.
This comes one day after the NNPC assured Nigerians that the issues of long fuel queues and petrol scarcity across the country would disappear by the weekend.
Baru had said on Wednesday that they were winning the war and putting adequate measures in place to ensure the product was easily accessible to the people in all parts of the country.
He had accused some petroleum marketers of diverting trucks conveying products meant for the Federal Capital Territory to some other parts of the country.
The Corporation had also asked Nigerians to remain calm with an assurance that trucks leaving depots are being monitored.
The NNPC boss addressed in the outskirts of Abuja, where he had gone to shut down another illegal petrol station.
He also accused some petroleum marketers of diverting trucks conveying products meant for the Federal Capital Territory to some other parts of the country.
Baru, however, said trucks leaving depots are being monitored, just as more 110 trucks have been dispatched to the nation’s capital and its environs.
He said: “Outside Abuja, we have gotten a lot of improvements. Also in terms of distribution, we are monitoring every dispatch from the depots and also from Suleja to the various centres.
“Today alone as of noon, we have gotten over 110 trucks that have been dispatched to Abuja and environs.”
The assurance comes one day after the Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA) said were no products in their tanks, although they could not confirm NNPC’s claims of having sufficient product stock.
DAPPMA Executive Secretary, Mr Olufemi Adewole, had said in a statement on Tuesday blamed the fuel crisis on the inability of the Direct Sales Direct Purchase (DSDP) partners of the Corporation to deliver on their business obligations.
In a swift reaction, NNPC said the claims were “unfounded and self-indicting”, accusing DAPPMA members of patronising the same DSDP international counterparts.
In a statement issued by its Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr Ndu Ughamadu, NNPC said it has supplied appreciable volume of petroleum products to DAPPMA and other relevant bodies in its bid to rid the fuel challenges in the country.
The statement read in part: “NNPC regrets that DAPPMA, which members had taken receipts of products from Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC), a subsidiary of NNPC and owe the company to the tune of N26.7billion as at December 21, 2017, has the audacity to indict NNPC unjustifiably.
“Despite the concession by the government giving access to DAPPMA to obtain Forex at an official rate of N305 per dollar for PMS import, their members have not been able to do so, leaving NNPC as the sole supplier of PMS to the Nigerian market.”
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused the Federal Government of telling lies to Nigerians about the cause of fuel crisis being witnessed in the country.
PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement on Wednesday said Nigerians deserve to know the true circumstance that led to the situation and who is responsible for the payment of fuel subsidy.
“This APC Government is not only grossly incompetent and corrupt but also a champion in the use of lies and manipulations against innocent and unsuspecting citizens,” he alleged.
“Is it not ridiculous for the Federal Government, in its bid to cover for its ineptitude and oil subsidy corruption, to announce that it is the NNPC and not Nigeria that is paying for the so-called fuel subsidy?”
Ologbondiyan further said: “The question is; who owns the NNPC? Is it not Nigeria? Can NNPC spend a kobo without the authorisation of the Presidency? Has President Muhammadu Buhari ceased to be the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Minister of Petroleum Resources?
“Moreover, if the NNPC, which is under his purview, has been paying fuel subsidy, who authorised the payment and who are the beneficiaries? Nigerians need to know the truth about this subsidy regime.”
The PDP spokesman said it was reprehensible that the All Progressives Congress (APC) led government was purportedly sticking to lies, particularly on the real reasons behind the biting fuel scarcity and the allegedly exposed attempt to pilfer $1billion from the Excess Crude Account (ECA).
He consequently asked the Federal Government to tell Nigerians the truth about how it was handling fuel related funds rather than pointing accusing fingers.
Ologbondiyan also challenged the government to speak out on the reported fraud in the oil regime whereupon 18 unregistered companies were allegedly used to lift and divert $1.1 trillion worth of crude oil in the last one year.
He further accused the government of providing cover for corruptions which he alleged were directly involving the interests of the ruling APC and appealed to its officials to “stop dishing out falsehood to suffering Nigerians.”
The PDP official said the APC has failed to increase the local production of petroleum products from where it was since it took over power in 2015.
He said: “We all know that it was convenient for the APC Presidency to promise Nigerians that it will no longer import fuel only because the PDP government had already laid the foundation, including revamping the refineries and ensuring a domestic production of five million litres out of the 25 million litres daily domestic consumption.
“Sadly, this incompetent APC government, in its almost three years, has not added one litre to the five million litres which the PDP administration was producing. Instead of improvements, the APC has wrecked the system and now pushing the nation to depend solely on importation while engaging in heavy sleazes in hidden subsidy regimes.”
The PDP has called out on the Federal Government to come clean on these issues, maintaining that the ruling party has been “telling lies to Nigerians who have suffered enough under its deceptive, inept, uncoordinated and wicked regime.”
They also urged Nigerians not to be forlorn with the assurance that they have repositioned the PDP to stand with the people in what they describe as the “inevitable mission” to rescue and restore Nigeria to the path of prosperity in 2019.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has condemned the recent claims by the Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA) on the issue of fuel scarcity, especially Premium Motor Spirit, popularly known as petrol.
NNPC described as very unfortunate, claims by DAPPMA that the fuel scarcity witness across the country was due to the inability of the Direct Sales Direct Purchase (DSDP) partners of the Corporation to deliver on their business obligations.
The reaction was contained in a statement issued on Wednesday in Abuja by NNPC Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr Ndu Ughamadu, about 24 hours after the allegation was made.
DAPPMA Executive Secretary, Mr Olufemi Adewole, had said in a statement on Tuesday that there were no products in their tanks, although they could not confirm NNPC’s claims of having sufficient product stock.
“If the products are offshore, then surely, they cannot be considered to be available to Nigerians. The NNPC imports and distributes through DAPPMA, Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) and Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN).
“Our members pay the PPMC/NNPC in advance for petroleum products, and fully paid up PMS orders that have neither been programmed nor loaded are in excess of 500,000 metric tonnes, about 800 million litres as of today (December 26), and enough to meet the nation’s needs for 19 days at a daily estimated consumption of 35 million litres,” he had said.
Ughamadu, however, said the claims were “unfounded and self-indicting”, alleging that many of DAPPMA members also patronise the same DSDP international counterparts as the corporation.
He affirmed that the NNPC has supplied appreciable volume of petroleum products to DAPPMA, MOMAN, and IPMAN, to rid the challenges currently being experienced in the country.
“NNPC regrets that DAPPMA, which members had taken receipts of products from Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC), a subsidiary of NNPC and owe the company to the tune of N26.7billion as at December 21, 2017, has the audacity to indict NNPC unjustifiably.
“Despite the concession by the government giving access to DAPPMA to obtain Forex at an official rate of N305 per dollar for PMS import, their members have not been able to do so, leaving NNPC as the sole supplier of PMS to the Nigerian market,” the NNPC spokesman said in the statement.
The Corporation further assured Nigerians that despite the increase it effected in the supply of petrol in December, arrangements have been made to supply 1.2billion litres of the white products in January 2018.
According to them, this translates to about 40 million litres of PMS supply per day compared to about 700 trucks (about 27million – 30million) litres the country consumes per day.
Despite the current challenges, Ughamadu also informed the people that the Federal Government has no plan to increase the pump price of petrol above N145 per litre.
He also said NNPC would continue to maintain ex-depot price of N133.28 per litre, which guarantees the pump price not exceeding the N145 per litre capped by the government.
The Corporation noted it was not the time to play the blame game and urged all stakeholders to support government efforts towards bringing a speedy end to the current fuel distribution challenges in the country.
Nigerians have continued to lament what most of them describe as the ‘lingering’ challenges they face in getting the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly known as petrol.
The Issue of fuel scarcity has been the major discourse in the country as the people go through untold hardships to get the product amid the yuletide celebrations.
This has, however, generated blames from the critics of President Muhammadu Buhari while the Presidency has assured Nigerians that the issue would be resolved as soon as possible.
Following the reports that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has begun distribution of the product, the Presidency created a Twitter hashtag on Tuesday to monitor the situation across the country.
In their various briefs, some citizens said the product is still not available in their location while others alleged that oil marketers in their locality were selling above government approved pump price.
Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, and the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, have met with some major petroleum marketers over the issue of fuel scarcity in the country.
Dr Kachikwu said in a tweet that Monday’s meeting, which was ‘productive and collaborative’, was convened as part of efforts by the Federal Government to frontally provide the much-needed solutions to the lingering fuel availability challenges across the country.
The minister said that the government was very much aware of the difficulty Nigerians go through to get the scarce product but that it would soon be a thing of the past.
He informed the people that the government has mandated the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and other relevant agencies to ensure the states are flooded with the product.
“Whilst empathising with Nigerians for the needless pain and suffering that the current situation has sprung up, we expect that the fuel availability challenges evidenced by long queues will be completely eliminated, soonest.
“We are leaving no stone unturned as we continue to monitor the current fuel situation and collaboratively work with the NNPC and the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to assiduously execute already communicated ministerial directives to maximally flood the market with products,” Kachikwu said.
He further thanked Nigerians for their understanding and support for the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, adding that measures are being put in place to prevent a reoccurrence of such incident.
He said: “The bigger picture is to ensure that a repeat of the current challenge is never again experienced; I thank every Nigerian for the support even in the face of challenges. God bless you and I respectfully wish you a splendid holiday and celebration.”
In continuation of the field rounds in our bid to frontally provide much needed solutions to the lingering fuel availability challenges with the Vice President H. E @ProfOsinbajo, SAN, we engaged the Major Oil Marketers in a very productive and collaborative meeting. pic.twitter.com/DsGvkgFfQR
Whilst empathizing with Nigerians for the needless pain and suffering that the current situation has sprung up, we expect that the fuel availability challenges evidenced by long queues will be completely eliminated, soonest. pic.twitter.com/9kVNfMzTMh
We are leaving no stone unturned as we continue to monitor the current fuel situation and collaboratively work with @NNPCgroup and the Department of Petroleum Resources to assiduously execute already communicated ministerial directives to maximally flood the market with products. pic.twitter.com/ospL33o5V7
Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, on Sunday visited two filling stations in Lagos, Oando in Lekki and Hayden Petrol Station in Victoria Island.
The VP who made a surprise appearance to witness firsthand the situation at the stations, sympathized with Nigerians over the inconveniences caused by the lingering fuel crisis even as Christians around the world celebrate Christmas.
He, however, assured Nigerians that the government is “working assiduously to eliminate this pain in the shortest possible time”. Read Full StoryHere