For several weeks now, the petrol scarcity in Lagos state and its environs is yet to abate, forcing motorists to long queues at fuel stations leading to traffic jams across the state.
Part of the challenge observed by Channels Television is that some fuel stations now sell the product above the recommended pump price of N97 per litre between the ranges of N105 to N120 per litre.
Black marketers across the state have taken advantage of the scarcity and are now selling fuel in jerry cans at even more expensive prices.
The director of the Department of Petroleum Resources, Mr Austeen Olorunsola, however, said the problem is distribution-induced, which he noted is made worse by the recent vandalisation of Arepo pipeline.
Meanwhile the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has announced that it has stepped up the supply and distribution of petroleum products across the country to ensure that motorists do not have to queue at filling stations before buying fuel.
No scarcity threat
A statement signed by the acting Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of NNPC, Mr. Fidel Pepple, on Wednesday urged motorists to avoid panic buying, affirming that “there is no threat of fuel scarcity.”
“We are working round the clock to surmount the distribution challenge and I can assure that the measures we have put in place are proving effective.”
Giving a breakdown of truck supply figures to Lagos in the last seven days, the statement revealed that a total of 472 trucks have been distributed to filling stations across the state between 17 and 23 October with the daily figures as follows:
Number of Trucks
Equivalent in Litres
23 October, 2012
22 October, 2012
21 October, 2012
20 October, 2012
19 October, 2012
18 October, 2012
17 October, 2012
“So we call on motorists not to engage in panic buying which can result in unnecessary queues and create hardship for Nigerians, which is what we are trying to avoid” Mr Pepple added.
The NNPC spokesperson further explained that the corporation is “conscious of the high demand for petroleum products that characterizes the end of year season along with its festivities” hence, the increase in the supply and distribution of fuel.
According to him, the NNPC through its subsidiary, the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC), has “intensified efforts at ensuring that fuel is available in every nook and cranny of the country so that people can travel with ease to join their families and friends for the Eid-el-Kabir and other festivals coming up towards the end of the year.”
“We have stepped up fuel supply and distribution across the country to ensure that motorists can drive into any filling station and buy fuel without queuing up, especially during this period of the year that comes with a lot of holidays and festivities. We have increased the number of truck loadings to all the geo-political zones of the country and we hope to sustain this from now through the Sallah holidays to the Christmas and New Year,” he stated.
Also giving a breakdown of truck supply figures to Abuja and environs for the month of October, Pepple said the last few days have witnessed a sharp rise in the number of fuel trucks from an average of 92 to 118, adding that this trend will not only be sustained but improved upon across the country.
The number of fuel trucks supplied to Abuja and environs from the Kaduna Refinery from 15 to 18 October, 2012, according to him, are: 100, 120, 112 and 131 respectively.
“This has greatly improved the situation and the queues have disappeared in Abuja. We are also doing same in Lagos where we have increased trucking from the depots to Lagos and across the Southwest,”
On the diversion of products that was noticed early last week, the NNPC spokesperson stated that “a monitoring committee set up by the PPMC has swung into action tracking the movement of the trucks to stem the trend.”