8 February 2018

Nigeria: DPR Urges NNPC to Increase Fuel Supply to Northern States

Officials of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) in Kaduna Zone have appealed to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to increase fuel supply to seven states under the zone.

The Zonal Operations Manager of DPR, Alhaji Isa Tafida, said shortage in the supply of fuel to Kaduna and other northern states under the zone had worsened the scarcity experienced in Kaduna, Katsina, Kano, Zamfara, Jigawa, Kebbi and Sokoto, adding that "this has made the monitoring exercise of the DPR difficult."

Tafida, who spoke at a press conference in Kaduna, said "since the beginning of the year, the state (Kaduna) receives an average of 30 trucks of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) (fuel) per day which is below the state sufficiency requirement of 70 trucks per day."Meanwhile, the DPR has shut down three stations and imposed a fine of N6 million on any petroleum marketer who diverts trucks conveying PMS to filling stations.

The Operations Controller of DPR in charge of Cross River State, Mr. Bassey Nkanga who shut down the three stations in the state over un-accounted three trucks of fuel that were loaded from the depot, said: "We have given them 24 hours to report back to us, and if they fail to do so, we will conclusively deduce that they have diverted the product and we will apply all the sanctions accordingly."

Also, the DPR has closed down 16 filling stations in Borno and Yobe states for "hoarding and selling" petrol above the official pump price.The North-East Zonal Operation Comptroller, Ali Idriss Zoaka, disclosed this while briefing journalists on outcome of operation crackdown on erring fuel stations.

In a related development, two filling stations belonging to Azman Oil & Gas have been ordered by the NNPC to pay about N16.5 million for diverting 66,000 litres of PMS.In a statement yesterday in Abuja, Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, NNPC, Ndu Ughamadu, said that a joint task force monitoring the persistent fuel crisis in the FCT had also arrested six persons in the Central Business District of the city for hawking petrol in jerry-cans.

He said managers of the stations, located in the Nyanya and Kuje suburbs of Abuja, were arrested after close monitoring by the team for diverting trucks of petrol meant for their stations to unknown destinations.

The filling stations, according to him, would pay N250 fine for each litre of petrol diverted, amounting to N16.5 million.He said three of the arrested illegal hawkers - Samila Umar, Atlahim Abdullahi and Bashir Sani - were charged and prosecuted at the Area Court, Gudu, where Justice Sidi Bello sentenced them to two-month imprisonment or a N2,000 fine which they promptly paid.

In another development, a group, Unified Nigerian Youth Forum (UNYF), has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to sack the Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu and Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mai Kanti Baru, for non-availability of petroleum products.

President of the UNYF, Malam Abdulsalam Mohd Kazeem, in a statement made available to newsmen in Kaduna said: "We call on Mr. President to overhaul the entire NNPC management by immediately sacking Kachikwu, Baru and the Head of DPR.

"The unwillingness of those saddled with the responsibilities of importing, monitoring and distribution of petroleum products have further exposed the lack of administrative acumen and weakness by the appointees of the President."NNPC has continuously lied to Nigerians about the availability of petroleum products. Why scarcity of PMS?"

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