Despite resurgence of petrol queues in some areas of the Abuja metropolis, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has assured commuters of sufficient stocks and urged motorists not to engage in panic buying.
Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, NNPC, Ndu Ughamadu gave the assurance in a telephone chat with our reporter on in Abuja yesterday stressing that the queues are only due to panic buying.
The Corporation said it has robust stock of PMS, otherwise called petrol, which is sufficient to serve the nation for more than 30 days.
This plea comes on the heels of queues noticeable in some fuel stations, especially in Abuja.
The NNPC therefore advised motorists to report any marketer selling above N145 per litre of petrol or hoarding the products to the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) which is statutorily empowered to deal with such issues, saying that the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR has offices located in all parts of the country and that law enforcement agencies have been empowered to mete out appropriate sanctions to operators of fuel stations who engage in hoarding or sell products above the recommended band.
Asked what could be responsible for the resurfacing of fuel queues in the city, Ndu said, "That is what we are investigating now; however we have just issued a statement on that. I can assure you that we have adequate supply of product but what is happening is panic buying.
"If you check many of the filling stations you will see fuel trucks waiting to off load.
"From my office here, I can see two trucks waiting to off-load at the Conoil Filling station opposite the NNPC Towers here, am just seeing them through my window."
On monitoring as it was observed that black market hawkers continues to operate around most filling stations in the metropolis selling fuel in jerry-cans, he said, "Monitoring is on and they are doing everything to bring the situation under control. NNPC assures motorists that the Corporation has robust stock of PMS, otherwise called petrol, which is sufficient to serve the nation for more than 30 days.
In another development, the Corporation's Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru, has directed that repair works should be executed immediately on the Escravos to Lagos Pipeline (ELP) ruptured by an explosion on Thursday along Egbokodo-Omadino, in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State to restore supplies from Escravos.
Dr. Baru further directed that gas supply from other sources like Oben, Oredo, Sapele, Ughelli and Utorogu be stepped up to augment any shortfalls as repair works have commenced on the pipeline.
The Escravos pipeline supplies gas to power plants, in addition to feeding the West Africa Gas Pipeline System.
It should be recalled that ELPS-C (downstream) of this pipeline was incinerated by a bush fire January 2 at Abakila, in Ondo State, which had since been rectified and brought back to service.
The earlier fire incident had affected gas supply to customers in Ondo, Ogun and Lagos State with subsequent shutdown of some power plants with a combined generating capacity of 1,143MW.