THE Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, NMDPRA, weekend, disclosed that operations in loading depots have resumed nationwide, following the successful conclusion of the nation's Presidential national assembly elections.
The sector regulator said it was working with other stakeholders to mitigate the tightness experienced in the distribution of petrol, adding that the current stock sufficiency stands at 35.39 days to PMS, 34.86 days for Ago and 31.36 days for ATK.
In a statement obtained by Vanguard, Sunday, the Chief Executive Officer, NMDPRA, Mr. Ahmed Farouk, stated: "The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, NMDPRA, assures Nigerians that operations in loading depots have fully resumed following the restriction of movements during the recently concluded presidential and national assembly elections which necessitated truck drivers to travel to exercise their civic duty.
"The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, NMDPRA, assures Nigerians that operations in loading depots have fully resumed following the restriction of movements during the recently concluded presidential and national assembly elections which necessitated truck drivers to travel to exercise their civic duty.
"Consequently, the NMDPRA is working with other stakeholders to mitigate the slight tightness being experienced in the distribution of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS.
"Most importantly, the public is invited to note that the current stock sufficiency stands at 35.39 days to PMS, 34.86 days for Ago and 31.36 days for ATK. The Authority continues to strive towards guaranteeing supply and distribution reliability nationwide and strongly advises against panic buying."
Similarly, in another statement obtained by Vanguard, the Chief Corporate Communications Officer, NNPC Limited, Mr. Garba Deen Muhammad, put the nation's petrol stocks at 2.1 billion litres.
He said the company "plans to close the month of March 2023 with about 2.8 billion litres, which is equivalent to 47 days of sufficiency.
"The appearance of pockets of queues in Abuja and some parts of the country is largely due to restrictions in businesses and movement, to allow for the conduct of the Presidential and NASS elections and enable Nigerians to exercise their civic right. However, operations have now resumed at the depots and trucks are being dispatched to various parts of the country. We expect normalcy to be restored in the next few days."
Mr. Muhammad noted that "NNPC Ltd. and all its partners and stakeholders will continue to work together to ensure seamless distribution of petroleum products around the Gubernatorial and State Assembly elections".
However, checks by Vanguard, yesterday, showed that the situation has improved tremendously in Lagos and its environs, due to improved supply in the past few weeks and limited movement of goods and persons because of the ongoing elections.
Speaking in a telephone interview with Vanguard, Sunday, the National President of the Independent Petroleum Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Elder Chinedu Okoronkwo, said petrol supply would record continuous improvement in the coming weeks.
He said: "There were indications that many tanker drivers might have slowed down their operations because of the fear of being attacked by touts during the elections. Once the elections are over, there would be serious improvement nationwide."
Similarly, the National Operations Controller of IPMAN, Mr Mike Osatuyi, said in another interview that, "There is adequate supply for now in Lagos and environs because the imported vessels are still discharging the product."
Also speaking, the Chief Executive officer/ES of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), Mr. Clement Isong, called on the players in the downstream sector to embrace automation in order to enhance transparency in the sector.
Speaking at a virtual workshop on world international data day in Lagos, weekend, he said: "Our position in MOMAN is that we are looking for the automation of the entire supply chain. It will mean everybody needs to invest in order to optimise their businesses.
"Eventually, the beneficiary is the customer. It is good for corporate governance. It removes people's ability to steal. And the authority (NMDPRA) itself has got to invest in infrastructure for data gathering and has got to do a preliminary analysis of that data and has to put up that information on its website which investors, marketers operators, and everybody can access.
"On that basis, optimise the business and make investment decisions. It is fundamental to a deregulated system. It improves the quality of decision-making as well as transparency and eliminates bad behaviour as well as fraud and theft."
However, a recent visit to the Ijegun-Egba Tankfarm in Lagos showed that four vessels carrying about 80 million litres were still discharging the product to tank farm owners.
The tank farm owners including A.A. RANO Nigeria Limited, JGold Nigeria Limited, Chipet International Limited, Emadeb Energy Services Limited, First Royal Oil Nigeria Limited, MAO Petroleum Company Limited, Menj Oil Limited, Ocean Pride Energy Services Limited, Stallionaire Nigeria Limited, Wosbab Energy Solutions Limited and Rainoil Limited would take the product to their outlets as well as sell to independent marketers at the government N172 per litre regulated price.