The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has resumed petrol supply to major reception facilities in Lagos just as queues which resurfaced in the state at the weekend continues to grow, pushing cost of services especially transportation fares up.
Confirming this in an interview with LEADERSHIP, Mr. Alamu Ayo, chairman Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Ejigbo branch, Lagos said the NNPC has begun products supply to the Ejigbo satellite depot. Ejigbo depot is a major reception infrastructure which holds significant quantity of products serving Lagos State and other states in the south west.
Ayo told our correspondent that the current scarcity was caused by non-supply of petrol to the depot by NNPC. “Throughout last week we did not receive any product from NNPC, and this is the major supply channel that pumps products to other areas, so this largely contributed to the resurgence of queues across the state” he explained.
He said however, that the depot has commenced normal loading. “At the moment we are doing 80-90 trucks a day and if supply is steady and at the pace we are going by Thursday the queues will begin to disappear”, he assured.
Also speaking to our correspondent, Mike Osatuyi, national operations director of IPMAN, said aside resumption of normal loading, the association has entered into a new arrangement with the NNPC on products supply. Osatuyi said when the agreement is implemented it will help reduce products going to wrong hands.
Under the new arrangement, NNPC will now supply products directly to the association who will in turn ensure the products are given to authentic members with verifiable address to eliminate diversion and other sharp practices, he said. LEADERSHIP reported that petrol queues re-surfaced in parts of Lagos state on Saturday fueling fresh fears of another round of acute scarcity of petrol which marred Christmas and New Year celebrations.
Our correspondent who monitored the situation observed that the queues which were noticed in the early hours of the day lengthened towards evening. Many of the filling stations operated by major marketers were not selling while outlets owned by independent marketers were shut.
Reacting to the situation Alhaji Biodun Lawal spokesman of NipCo though said the company was consistently loading and supplying to marketers the volume has marginally dropped. “I can confirm we are currently loading but I don’t have the statistics. However, I must say that we don’t have enough supply at the moment. I think that explains the resurgence of queue at filling stations”, he said.
Also speaking with our correspondent, Mr. Femi Adewole, executive secretary of the Depot and Petroleum Products Marketing Association (DAPPMA) declared that there is shortage of petrol supply across the country. Adewole said that what is playing up at the moment is the preference of the NNPC, deploying more supply to major marketers.
“The truth is that there is short supply at the moment, if NNPC can raise supply we will be able to get to inland areas and focus on major cities but I can tell you there is not much supply from NNPC”, he explained.
The secretary further said that in efforts to ensure steady products circulation most Depots that are not operating 24 hours currently do 18 hours but where there is shortage in supply such efforts would not be felt. Efforts to reach general manager group public affairs of NNPC, Ndu Ughammadu was not possible as he did not pick his calls.
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