The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, on Tuesday assured Nigerians that there would no longer be fuel scarcity which had caused unbearable queues for Nigerians.
The Group Managing Director of the corporation, Maikanti Baru said this in Abuja at the 2018/2019 crude oil term contract bid opening.
According to him, the opening of bids is an indication of President Muhammadu Buhari's drive for transparency and accountability in the conduct of government business.
He condemned the recent fuel shortage, which lasted a month, describing the corporation's downstream counterparts as 'unpatriotic'.
Although the fuel scarcity has ended in major Nigerian cities, filling stations in many towns outside Abuja now sell petrol at about N200 per litre against the N145 official price. The NNPC chief did not, however, speak on this.
"I am happy that this problem has been dealt with and the few pockets of non-compliance have been tackled.
"It was unfortunate that due to the behaviour of a few bad eggs, the Christmas was a pain. We hope you will never be part of this incident and we also hope this type of thing never happens in the future.
"NNPC is determined that this year there will be no fuel shortage. Definitely we have seen the last of it," Mr. Baru said.
Mr. Baru warned those that would be selected after the bid against indulging in sharp practices.
He said NNPC's focus was to enhance production volume, while ensuring that the "best value is realised through competitive marketing of our crude grades to international refineries and graders".
"In line with this aspiration, NNPC is collaborating with key stakeholders to improve the overall security of our production sites, crude export lines and other critical oil and gas infrastructure".
He urged the bidders not to patronise fraudsters who promise off takers selection assistance.
Speaking with journalists shortly after the bid ceremony, Mr. Baru said the evaluation would take three to four weeks, adding that 16 per cent of the crude was going to North America.
NNPC GMD, Maikanti Baru in a recent interview with State House Correspondents today (Photo taken by Sani Tukur, 29/12/2017)
Also speaking, Mele Kyari, the Group General Manager, Crude Oil Marketing Division said "there would be no lobbying in lifting programmes".
"It is fully automated. The customer knows where and when they get their lifting and this is unparalleled."
Kyari said part of the procedure was that the companies selected must have a net worth of about 250 million dollars, turnover of 500 million dollars, letter of credit and years of experience.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that 254 companies are bidding for the off take of Nigerian crude grades as against 224 in 2017.
This round is the third call for bids under the present administration.