Fuel Queues: NNPC Breaks Silence, Blames Situation On Road Projects

Fuel queues surfaced in Lagos on Tuesday, February 8, 2022.
Fuel queues have surfaced in Lagos

 

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) has blamed the fuel queues in Lagos State and Abuja on some construction projects going on in the state. 

NNPC’s Executive Vice President, Downstream, Mister Adeyemi Adetunju, gave this explanation while addressing a news conference in Abuja on Tuesday.

“The recent queues in Lagos are largely due to ongoing road infrastructure projects around Apapa and access road challenges in some parts of Lagos depots,” he said. “The gridlock is easing out and NNPC has programmed vessels and trucks to unconstrained depots and massive load outs from depots to various states are closely being monitored.”

“Abuja is impacted by the challenges recorded in Lagos. NNPC Retail and key marketers have intensified dedicated loading into Abuja to restore normalcy as soon as possible.”

READ ALSO: NNPC Has Fuel In Stock, Dollar Scarcity Behind Price Hike – IPMAN, Esele

But he assured Nigerians that efforts are ongoing to ensure that normalcy returns as soon as possible.

“We want to reassure all Nigerians that NNPC has sufficient products, and we significantly increased product loading including 24-hour operations in selected depots and extended hours at strategic stations to ensure products sufficiency nationwide,” he assured.

“We are also working with the NMDPRA, MOMAN, DAPPMAN, IPMAN, NARTO, PTD, and other industry stakeholders to ensure normalcy is returned.”

The NNPC, he added, has a “national PMS stock of over 2 billion litres. This is equivalent to over 30 days of sufficiency”.

Fuel scarcity is recurrent in Nigeria, one of the largest producers of crude oil globally. The most recent queues in several parts of the country have left many commuters stranded. Others have resorted to buying the product from black marketers who have cashed in on the situation to sell at exorbitant prices.

The government has said payment of subsidy for fuel is unstainable and has planned its removal for next year, a move that is sure to face pushbacks.

Fuel Scarcity Not Excuse To Block Roads, LASTMA Warns Motorists

Fuel queues surfaced in Lagos on Tuesday, February 8, 2022.
Fuel queues have surfaced in Lagos

 

The Lagos State Traffic Management Authority has cautioned motorists against causing serious traffic gridlock while queuing up for fuel at filling stations.

The General Manager of LASTMA, Mr. Bolaji Oreagba, issued the warning on Tuesday while deploying more Officers of the Authority on monitoring traffic around filling stations across the State.

A statement by the Director of the Public Affairs & Enlightenment Department at LASTMA, Adebayo Taofiq, quoted him as saying that the deployment became imperative following reports of long queues around filling stations caused by motorists parking indiscriminately.

Oreagba expressed displeasure at the disorderly behaviour of some drivers, who queue up haphazardly and disrupt traffic flow around various petrol stations.

“The scarcity of fuel being experienced is not an excuse to block and impede traffic flows across Lagos,” he said

READ ALSO: Three Killed, Several Injured In Lagos Accident

The LASTMA boss added, “We want our roads to be free; we do not want fuel queues to constitute a burden for other road users in Lagos.”

He reiterated that efficient traffic management has remained crucial in the attainment of a seamless multi-modal transportation system in Lagos.

But he sought maximum cooperation from the monitoring public to ensure that the ‘T.h.e.m.e.s’ agenda of the present administration yields positive results in terms of socio-economic development, as well security of lives and property.

Fuel Prices Jump In Kenya After Subsidies Cut

A file photo of a fuel nozzle.

 

Fuel prices in Kenya surged to record highs on Thursday after the new government slashed subsidies, piling on the misery for a population already facing deep economic hardship.

The price of petrol increased by 20 shillings to 179.30 (about $1.50) per litre while diesel and kerosene prices are up by 20 and 25 shillings respectively, the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) said.

The new price regime that will remain in force until October 14 was announced shortly after Kenya’s new President William Ruto took office on Tuesday vowing to scrap food and fuel subsidies.

“The interventions in place have not borne any fruit,” Ruto said in his inauguration speech.

Kenya is reeling from the global surge in crude oil prices and last year introduced measures to cushion consumers from the high retail prices.

It has so far spent 144 billion shillings ($1.2 billion) — about 86 percent of tourism earnings this year — to subside fuel, according to government figures.

Ruto lambasted the policies of his predecessor Uhuru Kenyatta, saying they gobbled up billions of shillings with no impact.

“In addition to being very costly, consumption subsidy interventions are prone to abuse, they distort markets and create uncertainty, including artificial shortages of the very products being subsidised,” he said.

READ ALSO: Ruto Sworn In As Kenya’s President After Divisive Poll

Under the new prices announced by EPRA, the subsidy for petrol has been removed while those for diesel and kerosene have been reduced.

Kenya is the most dynamic economy in East Africa but many are suffering financial hardship with about a third of the population living in poverty.

Prices for basic goods skyrocketed in the wake of Covid pandemic and the war in Ukraine, and unemployment remains a major problem, particularly among the young.

Inflation soared to a 65-month high of 8.5 percent in August, while the currency is at record lows at around 120 shillings to against the dollar.

There are fears the new fuel price increases could see public service providers hike fares and further add to cost of living pressures.

AFP

Fuel Scarcity Looms In Rivers As Marketers Suspend Product Lifting

A file photo of a fuel nozzle.

 

Long queues are about to return to filling stations in Rivers State, less than three months after the last national emergency.

This follows the suspension of the lifting of petrol from depots in the state by independent marketers and owners of filling stations over allegations of harassment by security agents.

The petroleum products dealers say the security agents, comprising of men of the Nigerian Army, Police, and Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps are being used by some acclaimed officers of their unions to enforce the payment of an illegal levy of N15,000 per marketer in private depots and tank farms.

READ ALSO: Rivers Police Arrest Man In Possession Of AK-47 Rifle

At a joint briefing in Port Harcourt, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) and the Petroleum Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria (PETROAN) warned that the scarcity, which is expected in a few day’s time, will escalate to other parts of the country as similar complaints are being received from other states.

The Six Division of the Nigerian Army and Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) have denied deploying their men for such an operation.

The NSCDC spokesperson in Rivers State, Olufemi Ayodele, said the command is ready to deal decisively with any officer who arrogates such responsibility to himself especially when the anti-vandal unit of the Corps has been disbanded.

Meanwhile, the police are yet to respond to the allegation.

Ecuador To Cut Fuel Prices That Sparked Weeks Of Protests

A file photo of Ecuador President Guillermo Lasso

 

President Guillermo Lasso announced Sunday that Ecuador will cut fuel prices, which had sparked weeks of demonstrations, though not by as much as protesters have demanded.

“I have decided to reduce the price of gasoline by 10 cents per gallon and diesel also by 10 cents per gallon,” he said in a television and radio address.

The powerful Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (Conaie), which since June 13 has been blocking roads and occupying oil wells in different parts of the country, had demanded a reduction in prices by an additional 30 cents and 35 cents, respectively.

Earlier on Sunday, the country’s energy ministry warned that oil production had reached a “critical” level and could be halted entirely within 48 hours if the protests and roadblocks continued.

READ ALSO: Moscow Says Strikes Hit Ukraine Military Training Centres

The protests, which are also against rising living costs, have crippled transportation in Ecuador, with roadblocks set up in 19 of the oil-rich country’s 24 provinces.

“Oil production is at a critical level,” the ministry said in a statement.

“If this situation continues, the country’s oil production will be suspended in less than 48 hours as vandalism, the seizure of oil wells and road closures have prevented the transport of equipment and diesel needed to keep operations going.”

“Today, the figures show a decrease of more than 50 percent” in production, which was at roughly 520,000 barrels per day before the protests, it said.

Ecuador’s economy is highly dependent on oil revenues, with 65 percent of output exported in the first four months of 2022.

 Impeachment Debate 

Late on Sunday, the country’s parliament suspended seven hours of debate over whether to impeach Lasso, with proceedings set to resume on Tuesday. At least 20 members of parliament are still due to speak.

The president’s impeachment would require 92 of the 137 possible votes in the National Assembly, where the opposition holds a fragmented majority. MPs will have a maximum of 72 hours to vote following the end of the debate.

An estimated 14,000 protesters have taken part in the nationwide demonstrations, most of them in Quito.

Shortages are already being reported in the capital, where prices have soared.

Violence between police and demonstrators has reportedly left five dead, while about 500 people have been injured.

Earlier in the day, Production Minister Julio Jose Prado said that public-private economic losses from the protests totaled $500 million.

“Each additional day of downtime represents $40 to $50 million lost,” he said on Sunday.

Overall losses since the protests began include 8.5 million liters of milk worth $13 million as well as $90 million in agricultural goods and livestock.

The tourism industry has seen cancellations rise to 80 percent, with losses amounting to at least $50 million.

Additionally, “in the flower farm sector, 12 days of shutdown resulted in $30 million in losses and damage to trucks and farms,” Prado said.

AFP

Marketers Threaten To Halt Fuel Supply In North-West States Over N40bn Debt

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

 

The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Gusau Depot, has threatened to stop transporting petroleum products within Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara and parts of Katsina state.

The threat came following the Federal Government’s failure to settle its N40bn outstanding payment to IPMAN members, IPMAN’s Zonal Chairman, Yahya Kamba, said.

According to Mr Kamba, the payment is based on importation and transportation claims of up to 11 months.

 READ ALSO: Govt Can’t Do Everything, Private Sector Can Do Better, Says Prof Ife

He said the Federal Government has reneged on the agreement reached with the association.

“It is not a subsidy,” Mr Kamba said. “It is money that we marketers contributed. We have to pay a certain amount for every litre we purchase from the government. Just for the country to have a uniform pump price.

“We contributed this money just the way pensioners contribute their own. So there is no reason anyone can give us to say they have no money. We are asking for our contribution.

“Our arrangement is for the Ministry to pay us every week; when you transport this product, you are supposed to be paid within a week; but now we are counting months. We have counted up to 11 months. The payment has stopped since June 2021.”

Fuel Queues: NNPC Assures Of Supplies, Warns Against Panic Buying In Abuja

In this file photo, vehicles queue for fuel in Abuja on March 1, 2021.

 

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has assured residents of Abuja against panic buying of fuel, assuring that the agency has adequate supply despite the resurgence of queues in the city. 

This is according to a series of tweets on the NNPC handle late Sunday.

“We assure all residents of the FCT, and indeed all Nigerians, that we have ample local supplies and national stock in excess of 2.5 billion liters, with a sufficiency of more than 43 days,” it added.

“The NNPC Ltd hereby advises motorists not to engage in panic buying as supplies are adequate as will become increasingly evident in the coming days.”

It explained the appearance of fuel queues in parts of Abuja “is very likely due to low loadouts at depots which usually happen during long public holidays, in this case, the Sallah celebrations”.

The statement added that the “increased fuel purchases which are also usual with returning residents of the FCT from the public holidays”.

READ ALSOBuhari Condemns Zamfara Attacks, Asks Military To End Bandits’ Activities

The recent development is coming a few months after fuel queues resurfaced in the country due to the importation of “bad fuel” into Nigeria.

Lawmakers had then initiated a probe into the matter as calls came for those found guilty to be punished.  The House of Representatives had then called on the NNPC to suspend the companies involved in the importation.

But in April, the lower chamber said nobody would be sanctioned over the supply of the adulterated product.

This was after it considered and adopted the reviewed report on the investigation by its Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream) which exonerated both the NNPC and the suppliers in the Direct Sale-Direct Purchase deal between the Federal Government and the importers.

‘70 Million Litres Is Impossible’: Saraki Challenges FG On Fuel Consumption Claims

 

Former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has faulted the Federal Government’s claims that the country is consuming over 70 million litres of fuel.

He disputed the claims during his appearance on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics while addressing the issue of fuel scarcity and the suffering it brought upon Nigerians.

Read Also: What Buhari Said About Fuel Subsidy In Proposed Amended 2022 Budget (FULL TEXT)

“If you remember then in 2011 when I moved the motion, we talked about how we were consuming 30 to 35 million litres a day and we said at that time that it was even too much.

“We took steps and made recommendations following my motion and the then-government took certain steps that resulted in the government seeing a reduction in subsidy by $500 million… now to say today that we are spending three trillion, is definitely not adding up.

“How can anybody see Nigerians go through this? Now I’m told that we consume 70 million litres. It’s not possible.

“We cannot be consuming more than 30-45 million litres. There’s no doubt that those litres of fuel are going across the border and the government is turning a blind eye. It is not possible,” he asserted.

Fuel Crisis: PDP Condemns Buhari For Abandoning Nigerians

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has slammed President Muhammadu Buhari for travelling out of the country and abandoning Nigerians amid the fuel scarcity across the nation.

This was disclosed in a press statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Hon. Debo Ologunagba. The party accused leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the helm of affairs in the petroleum sector of crippling economic activities in Nigeria.

“The decision by President Muhammadu Buhari to jet out to the United Kingdom (where leaders are committed) for yet another ‘routine medical check-up after his administration has wrecked our healthcare system and when the nation which he leads is in crisis, underscores the insensitivity of the APC which by nature and outlook has never been ready for governance since inception,” the party said in the statement issued on Thursday.

“While other world leaders are solving problems in their countries, President Buhari, who promised to fix our refineries, abandoned Nigerians to the excruciating fuel crisis caused by the corruption perpetrated by APC leaders in the helm of affairs in the petroleum sector, which has now crippled economic activities in the country.”

Read Also: APC Governors Back New Convention Date, Adopt Zoning

With President Buhari out of the country, the PDP explained that this action “exposes APC’s lack of commitment towards the wellbeing and development of Nigerians youths”.

The main opposition party regretted that the populace was at the mercy of black-market vendors.

“With the corruption and abdication of duty by the APC, our nation is now at the mercy of black-market vendors who charge already overburdened Nigerians as high as N500 per liter of fuel; a development that has resulted in [a]spiral increase in transport fares, costs of food, medicines, and other essential commodities,” the communique read.

“This is in addition to the collapse of many businesses, massive loss of jobs, hunger and starvation, [the] sudden death of breadwinners with grave economic pressure on millions of families and attendant social consequences to our country.”

The party claimed that the APC leadership is in chaos with no solution to the prevailing crisis in the country.

“The prevailing chaotic situation in the country with widespread uncertainties, unabating fuel crisis, piercing economic hardship, sectional agitations, heated industrial unrests, infrastructural stagnation, kidnapping, daily bloodletting and escalated insecurity with gangsters now taking over the streets of major cities further confirms that the APC administration is now on autopilot with its central command structure in disarray.”

It, therefore, charged Nigerians to brace up and support one another in the face of “abandonment” by the APC administration, stating that these are “critical indicators that show that the APC has abdicated its constitutional duty to guarantee the security and welfare of the people”.

Fuel Scarcity Was Due To Inspection Failure, Adulterated Products – FG

Fuel queues surfaced in Lagos on Tuesday, February 8, 2022.
A file photo of cars queuing for fuel in Lagos.

 

The Federal Government has admitted that the fuel scarcity was not because of the absence of supply of products but due to inspection failure, which allowed adulterated products into the country.

In a statement by the Senior Adviser on Media and Communications to the Minister of State Petroleum Resources, Horatius Egua, the Federal Government noted that such action is regrettable.

“The Federal Government sympathizes with the citizenry over the unforeseen hardship, occasioned by the inevitable scarcity. Let me once again appeal to Nigerians to be patient with the government in finding lasting solutions to the crisis.

“We appreciate the NNPC for showing so much concern to the plight of Nigerians by coming forward with an apology. This is unprecedented and shows that we on the government side are not afraid to take responsibility”, he said.

READ ALSOPDP Governors Ask Buhari To Resign As Petroleum Minister

Egua noted that the Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority has been out on the streets; filling station by filling station to ensure that the situation normalizes quickly.

“This is a time that calls for collective action to save a situation that was not foreseen. It is not a time to trade blames as is customary in Nigeria. It is therefore not a time to query anyone but a time to come together to salvage the plight of the average Nigerian.

“After the storm settles there will be time enough to investigate and get to the bottom so that this does not repeat itself.

“Mr. President’s charge to all parties and agencies concerned is to work together to ensure that normalcy returns quickly’, the statement added.

He said that Nigerians deserve the best and President Muhammadu Buhari’s government is determined to set the country on the right path of petroleum products availability and sustainability as demonstrated in the award of the contracts for the rehabilitation of all our refineries and the acquisition of a stake in the Dangote Refinery.

“Let us as Nigerians stand shoulder to shoulder in our shared quest for a greater country,” he noted.

NUPENG-PTD, NARTO Shelve Planned Strike

 

The Petroleum Tanker Drivers arm of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) have shelved their planned strike.

The groups had threatened to go on strike over claims of diversion of the N621bn road fund provided by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) and the government’s failure to increase the freight rate for transporting petrol.

But a communique issued by the (NNPC) on Thursday, noted that the planned industrial action has been stopped following a stakeholders’ meeting in Abuja.

The NNPC gave updates about the state of the road “construction and rehabilitation projects under the road infrastructure tax credit scheme and assured the stakeholders (NUPENG, NARTO, and PTD) that the funding earmarked for the 21 critical roads will be applied for the intended purpose only”.

The NNPC in a series of tweets on its official handle also said the stakeholders will work together in monitoring the road construction.

“The stakeholders requested for completion of the ongoing discussion on the review of the freight rates to cover operational costs and highlighted the precarious situation that truck owners face in the light of current economic realities,” the communique added.


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It said a committee has been set up to review the rates and that members of the group include PTD, NARTO and NUPENG, and other stakeholders. The committee is expected to make recommendations to the government

On the nationwide fuel scarcity, all parties during the meeting agreed to work to ensure “efficient distribution of petroleum products across the country”.

Fuel Queues Will ‘Vanish’ By Next Week, NNPC Assures Nigerians

 

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) has assured that the fuel scarcity in the country will end soon.

Group Managing Director (GMD) of the NNPC, Mele Kyari, gave the assurance on Wednesday in a meeting with the House of Representatives ad-hoc committee investigating the importation of adulterated fuel into the country.

“For this current situation, let me assure you we have taken every necessary step to restore supply into this country. We have placed orders significant enough for us to cross into March, with at least 2.1 billion litres of PMS in our custody,” he said during the interaction.

“The situation you’re seeing today, I can assure you by next week, it will vanish. All things being equal, because of distribution issues that we may not have control over, including the movement of trucks, otherwise, we have robust supply arrangement to make sure we exit this situation.”

A Scarce Commodity


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NNPC Insists Toxic Petrol Not Imported Deliberately, Says Fuel Scarcity To End Soon
We Have One Billion Litres Of Petrol To Tackle Supply Gap – NNPC
Fuel Scarcity: NNPC Orders Depots, Retail Outlets To Begin 24-Hour Operations


Scene of a filling station in Kaduna State.

 

Kyari also appealed to Nigerians over the situation which has triggered fuel scarcity across the country. According to him, the development was not intentional.

“No one out there will bring this product into this country deliberately,” he said. “There is no way we would have seen this methanol except your supplier decides to disclose to you because it is not part of their requirements to look for this.”

Last week, the NNPC said the long queues were due to the importation of adulterated fuel into the country. The situation led to long queues in major cities as many struggled to get the product. Hoodlums have also reportedly taken advantage of the situation as millions of Nigerians queue for hours, staying late into the night to get fuel.

In Kaduna, residents, who lamented the situation, said they have resorted to patronising black marketers who sell the product for as much as N1, 000 per litre.

“I spent more than five hours following the line,” one of the residents, Abdulsalam Munir, told Channels Television.

“Since when I came, I haven’t gotten fuel and my car was on the line. Up till now (in the afternoon), I haven’t bought fuel. Even when you go to the black market, we buy one litre for N1, 000. So, fuel is very scarce and we are calling on the government to put an end to this thing.”

In the wake of the scarcity, the NNPC ordered its retail outlets to operate a 24-hour schedule to ameliorate the plight of Nigerians.