‘Drastic Drop’ In Activities At Depots Responsible For Scarcity – NUPENG

NUPENGThe Lagos Zonal Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Mr Tokunbo Korodo, on Monday attributed the return of fuel scarcity to the ‘drastic drop’ in the loading activities in the loading depot.

He noted that most of the depots have been loading well for the past one week adding that “some are even rationing”.

Speaking via a telephone on Sunrise Daily, Mr Korodo, said that when the depots run by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) are not loading well, “it gives room to the independent marketers we have at Apapa to be selling above the pump price

Mr Korodo said the unavailability of the Premium Motor Spirit is responsible for the rationing by depots across the country.

“The PPMC headquarters is supposed to pump to Ejigbo and also to Ibadan and other axis of Region 2B but they are not pumping because they don’t have enough stock.

“And if they don’t have enough stock, there depots will also be operating at a dormant capacity”, he added.

He further noted that only the PPMC can tell Nigerians what is responsible for the shortage of the product, adding that “with the way things are going, we need urgency to curtail this spread.”

“The problem is the marketers, dealers are now coming to Lagos to pick and they are ready to buy (the product) above the pump price”, he said.

No Need To Panic

The Pipelines and Products Marketing Company has asked the Nigerian populace to calm down as petroleum products will be available in the fuel stations soon.

The MD of PPMC, Esther Nnamdi-Ogbue, said that about four vessels containing 30,000 tonnes of PMS arrived in the country on Sunday and the agency is doing all it can to ensure that the product is distributed efficiently.

Queues returned to the fuel stations in the last week and many motorists have been complaining about the seeming worsening situation in fuel supply.

NNPC Deploys Additional Volumes Of Petrol To Abuja

NNPCNNPC has announced the deployment of additional trucks of petrol to arrest the emerging fuel queues in some fuel stations in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said this on Monday in a statement signed by its Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Ohi Alegbe.

The corporation explained that it had increased the fuel supply to the Federal Capital Territory and environs from the usual average of 160 trucks per day to 250 trucks (8.25 million litres).

This development, according to NNPC, was to arrest the lull experienced due to last weekend’s State House of Assembly re-run election in Niger State, which affected truck movement from the Suleja depot.

It called on members of the public to refrain from all forms of hoarding, diversion and panic buying of petroleum products.

The corporation also assured the citizens of availability of petrol to meet the demand of consumers in Abuja and beyond.

“Apart from the additional injection of volumes of petrol into the market, the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC) has stepped up monitoring across fuel stations to ensure strict compliance with laid down rules and regulations on the sales and distribution of petroleum products,” NNPC said.

Absence Of Minister, NNPC Officials Stall Kerosine Subsidy Probe

A public hearing into the supply, distribution and subsidy payments of kerosine from 2010 to 2013 by the House of Representatives has been postponed due to the absence of the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, and officials of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC).

The Chairman of the House Committee on Petroleum Resources (Down Stream), Dakuku Peterside said the exercise could not go on because, the ministry and NNPC were central to the kerosine subsidy regime and their absence made it difficult to continue the investigation.

The government agencies had written to the committee asking for more time to gather the data.

Expressing the displeasure of the committee, the chairman said the lawmakers are determined not to fail Nigerians as they work to uncover the secrecy surrounding the kerosine subsidy.

The announcement by the Chairman of the committee, Rep. Dakuku Peterside, for the postponement came after a long wait by stakeholders who were seated before 10 a.m.

Peterside said that the committee was compelled to postpone the hearing due to the absence of officials of the three agencies which were critical stakeholders in the investigation.

“It is not in the character of the seventh National Assembly to waste people’s time.

“On behalf of the committee, I want to apologise to you, we are going to be compelled by circumstances to put off this hearing to Feb. 18.

“We owe you a duty to carry out the investigation, we will not let you down, we want to apologise once more, we will move on with the hearing on Feb. 18.

He explained that several invitation letters were written to the agencies and ministry about the hearing, but they did not respond till the day of the hearing.

The letters partly reads: “I wish to inform you that the Honourable Minister together with the top management of the ministry and its agencies will be participating in the International Summit on Power Financing starting today, 10th February, 2014.

“As a result, we regret to inform you of our inability to honour your invitation. We are also currently engaged with the Senate Committee on Finance and it is not clear when their hearing will end.’’

NNPC in a letter signed by its General Manager, National Assembly Liaison, Mr M.B Bamanga, and dated Feb. 7 gave the same excuse.

“I am further directed to appeal to the Chairman to allow NNPC and its subsidiary sufficient time to collate the required documents and reschedule an alternate date for the appearance of our organisation at the hearing, please,’’ the letter reads.