Vanguard (Lagos)

Nigeria: Scarcity - Alison-Madueke Gives 48-Hour Deadline

Nigeria is Africa's largest oil exporter, but imported fuel for cars has been scarce across the country for weeks. Drivers are frustrated at having to ... ( Resource: Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Drag On

To Meet a 48-hour deadline to end fuel scarcity in Lagos, the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company, PPMC, said it will inject additional 110 million litres of petrol into the market this week.

The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, had given PPMC and oil marketers 48 hours to clear the long queues at filling stations and end the lingering fuel shortages.

Confirming the development with journalists at the weekend in Lagos, PPMC Executive Director (Commercial), Mr Gbenga Komolafe, said PPMC, a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, had already supplied more than 74 million litres of petrol to Lagos, last week.

He gave the assurance that with the level of petrol in distribution across the country, normalcy would soon return to filling stations.

Komolafe said, "We have put in some measures to halt the artificially-induced fuel scarcity noticeable in parts of the country. We have also put in place measures to ensure a free-flow of petrol at filling stations in Lagos. NNPC is expected to supply 50 per cent of the petrol, while other marketers will supply 50 per cent."

He explained further, "We have engaged stakeholders, including the NNPC, Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, MOMAN, and Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, to find lasting solutions to the lingering fuel situation."

He also used the opportunity to reiterate that there is no plan by the Federal Government to increase the pump price of petrol, and appealed to marketers to stop hoarding the fuel.

He added, "Members of the public should also not engage in panic buying. We are convinced that in the days ahead, fuel situation will normalise as there is enough petrol to go round."

Komolafe said further that a number of vessels from the major marketers had berthed to discharge petrol, adding that four vessels with more than 74 million litres were currently discharging to clear the queues.

According to him, "We have discharged a vessel, Alzea with 30 million litres; Ocean Centrum belonging to NIPCO with 22 million litres; and Vinte Enterpriser with 22 million litres.The vessels are currently discharging at Apapa, IBM Jetty, Capital Jetty and SPM Jetty in Lagos.

"While we intensify the on-going direct monitoring of fuel situation across Lagos and its environs, we are providing extra volume of product to eliminate the queues arising from the scarcity."

Also speaking, the Executive Secretary, MOMAN, Mr Obafemi Olawore, said that four vessels were expected to berth in Lagos ports next week.

He assured Nigerians of effective petrol distribution to all stations across the country, and warned marketers to desist from hoarding the commodity.

"We are still expecting more vessels from MOMAN, IPMAN, DAPPMA and other marketers to strengthen the existing supply.We implore members of the public to avoid panic buying and storing of fuel in residential areas.

"We will not hesitate to sanction any marketers found hoarding products," Olawore warned.

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