…As NNPC raises daily supply to 80m litres
By CHIKA IZUORA, Lagos, and FESTUS OKOROMADU, By Jonathan Nda-Isaiah Abuja
As part of the measures to arrest the suffering of Nigerians due to the shortage of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), the federal government is expecting the delivery of one billion litres of the product before end of December.
Also, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has doubled its supply and distribution efforts, raising nationwide distribution to 80 million litres a day as against the 30 million litres a day supply before the present crisis started.
Confirming these developments, NNPC group managing director, Dr. Maikanti Baru, said the corporation doubled the daily supply of petrol from 700 trucks (about 27million – 30 million litres) per day supply to 80 million litres per day since the current hiccup in the supply chain was noticed a few days back.
Baru, who disclosed this shortly before the signing ceremony of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Corporation and the Benue State Government on the Agasha-Guma Bio-fuels Projects in Abuja, attributed the hiccup in the supply of PMS to rumours about a planned increase in the price of petrol.
He blamed marketers for the scarcity, saying that some of them, in their quest to cash in on the situation, suddenly started hoarding products, but “we (the corporation) swiftly swung into action by doubling our supply nationwide.”
The NNPC boss further revealed that at the time the rumour started, the corporation had about 30-day sufficiency, adding that the normal daily supply to the nation was 700 trucks, equaling about 27 million -30 million litres per day.
According to him, presently, the NNPC had enough products to supply the country for up to 30 days.
Baru further revealed that cargoes carrying at least one billion litres of petrol were heading to Nigerian shores at the end of December which, he said, would return the country to a 30-day-plus sufficiency.
He expressed joy at PENGASSAN’s suspension of its planned strike and called on motorists not to engage in panic buying as the corporation had more than enough products for domestic consumption, even as he gave the assurance that the fuel situation would soon fizzle out this week.
Baru warned marketers against hoarding, stressing that any filling station found wanting in this regard would lose its entire products to motorists.
He commended NNPC’s sister agencies, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), for their support in helping NNPC to tackle the menace of hoarding by filling stations.
This is, however, coming as the scarcity in Lagos has caused a hike in transport fares by up to 150 per cent.
Our correspondent who monitored the situation observed that most filling stations are fast running out of stock as long queues continue to build up, creating serious traffic squeeze in the metropolis.
Meanwhile, while signing the MoU on the Bio-fuels Project with the Benue State Government, Baru asserted that the project would provide employment for the teeming youths in the state.
He said: “I believe that Benue has what it takes to lead the country in the bio-fuels industry. I hope that your state will soon move from the food basket to the fuel basket of the nation.”
In his remarks, the deputy governor of Benue State, Engr Benson Abounu, said his state was happy with the signing of the MoU which, he said, was a watershed in the nation’s quest to find alternative sources of energy.
He pledged the support of the entire Benue citizens to the project, adding that various host communities for the project would give 100 per cent support for its success.
LEADERSHIP Friday reports that the Agasha-Guma bio-fuels project aims at developing Integrated Sugarcane Plantation and Fuel-Ethanol/Sugar/Power Plant Complex in Benue State through a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV).
Expected to create one million direct and indirect jobs for Nigerians on completion, the project will also produce about 84 million litres of fuel ethanol annually.
In another development, the corporation said it had achieved 98 per cent automation of all transactions involving the supply, marketing and sale of the various grades and blends of Nigeria’s crude oil across the world.
Group general manager, Crude Oil Marketing Division of the corporation, Malam Mele Kyari, stated yesterday, in an interview with Oil & Gas Forum, NNPC Weekly TV show, that the automation exercise, which would be concluded in 2018, had enabled the corporation to achieve an end-to-end monitoring of every barrel of crude oil sold in the country.
“Today, at a click of a button we can tell you how much crude oil is sold, at what price, who bought it and where it has gone to etc,” he said.
According to him, the projection was to operate a complete paperless crude oil data management regime in line with the ongoing transformation of the processes which had witnessed sweeping reforms since 2015.
He listed the reforms to include the open bid process of customer selection for lifting and purchase of Nigeria’s crude oil grades, emplacement of efficient crude for product import processes, leading to savings of $1 billion in one year as well as the introduction of improved pricing system, which has evolved into a robust and auditable pricing mechanism.
The GGM also explained that the reform had led to the harmonisation of Nigeria’s crude oil data and lifting information, providing access to major internationally recognised reporting agencies like Plat and Argus Media to achieve real time reporting of Nigeria’s crude oil transactions.
He said this development had enabled the country to eliminate the perennial disagreement with its major stakeholder, the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), on actual production and lifting figures.
Fuel Queues Will Soon Become History – FG
The federal government has given assurance that fuel queues will soon be a thing of the past.
This was disclosed by the minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, after the federal executive council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa, Abuja, yesterday.
He said the Ministry of Petroleum Resources was hard to stabilise the situation.
“As for the fuel scarcity, I can assure you that both the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and the Department of Petroleum Resources are working round the clock to ensure that this thing becomes a thing of the past,” he said.
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