By FESTUS OKOROMADU, Abuja
A team of officials from Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and security agencies on Thursday dispensed 57,000 litres of petrol free to motorists in Abuja.
Mr Umar Ajiya, the managing director, Nigerian Product Marketing Company, NPMC, also known as PPMC, had on Dec. 13, warned petrol profiteers to desist or face losing their products.
The team, which was on its fifth day of monitoring, got more information from anonymous Nigerians and made good on its promise to give out petrol free from any filling station that sold above the N145 approved cap.
The first station visited by the team on Thursday was Mcmanakai Global Services in Bassa, a village in Abuja airport, which had 39,000 litres of petrol, while the handlers of the second station absconded when they learnt of the presence of the team.
The team also visited a third petrol station also in Bassa, FCT, where it sealed
Enesi Petroleum because the facility was selling a mixture of petrol and kerosene to unsuspecting motorists.
It had 9,750 litres of petrol and 4,750 litres of kerosene.
Another unidentified filling station in Soka, FCT, which was selling at N240, had
18,000 litres of petrol that was dispensed free to motorists on queue.
At Mcmanakai petrol station, the NNPC Group Managing Director, Dr Maikanti Baru, told newsmen that “DPR and Civil Defence identified this station on Wednesday as an illegal, unregistered station.
“The station has products and is selling above the 145 cap. DPR stopped the managers from selling at that rate on Wednesday but the handlers resumed selling at N245 today (Thursday).
“So, the same punishment we meted out to other stations would be done
here and elsewhere found to be doing same.
He assured that trucks of petrol coming into Abuja and other cities had been increased to ensure that with 24-hour operations, the queues disappeared by weekend.
The Abuja Zonal Operations Controller of DPR, Mr Mohammed Abba, told newsmen, that “we received information about illegal activities of petrol stations from good Samaritans, otherwise we may not know the existence of some of these filling stations.
Meanwhile, director, Department of Petroleum Resources [DPR] , Mr. Mordecai Ladan has extolled NIPCO Plc for its role ensuring the smooth distribution of premium motor spirit (PMS) otherwise known as petrol from its depots since the resurgence of petrol scarcity across the country.
Ladan disclosed this while on an unscheduled visit to NIPCO terminal at Apapa in Lagos on Wednesday. He said he was impressed with the load out and the assurances by the company’s management on hitch free product loading as supplies from Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation [NNPC] improves significantly.
He stated that the team was on tour of depots to ascertain the availability of stocks in the depots. He gave assurance that the current product scarcity would ease in a matter of days and that stakeholders would heave a sigh of relief very soon stressing that since NNPC has addressed the supply side of the problem and with the corresponding support of depot operators, there is high hope of normalcy in products availability at the stations.
He however emphasized that with supply being addressed the next line of action is to ensure that marketers don’t exploit motorist by selling above the approved product pump price of N145 per litre.
The duo of NIPCO’s Chief Operating Officer (COO), Mr. Suresh Kumar alongside Chief Corporate Affairs Manager (CCAM), Lawal Taofeek where on ground to receive the DPR team.
Earlier, Taofeek had informed the visitors that the company has a total stock of 17,000 MT which approximates about 23million liters courtesy of the supply of NNPC via Apapa jetty on Wednesday.
He noted that since the scarcity resurfaced last week, NNPC has being fair to the company through consistent supply to enable uninterrupted supply to filling stations across the country stressing that this has led to massive trucking of petrol .
Mr Lawal also appreciated the support of NNPC and its subsidiary, Nigeria Petroleum Marketing Company (NPMC) who aside from the new consignment of 17,000 MT which the company received has given assurances of another supply within the next three days adding that this would definitely gladdens the heart of marketers across the nation.
Responding to the fears of DPR team on the adherence of N145 per liter at stations, Lawal informed that long before the scarcity NIPCO has put in place a monitoring team that pays an unscheduled visit to its stations to ensure compliance to approved selling rate for petrol.
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