The Nigeria Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) has again assured that the queues at filling stations will soon disappear as marketers commence massive loading of petroleum products.
Chief executive of NMDPRA, Mr Ahmed Farouk, gave the assurance during a stock monitoring exercise within depots in Lagos yesterday.
Recall that the agency had on Saturday, insisted that the country had 34 days of sufficiency in stock, however.
Regardless of these assurances, petrol scarcity continues to linger across the country as long queues are seen at the few filling stations still selling fuel.
The NMDPRA boss led staff of the Authority to NIPCO, Total, Aiteo, OVH, Conoil, 11 Plc and HOGL depots in Apapa for on the spot assessment.
Farouk said the stock taking exercise was to ensure availability and effective distribution of petroleum products across the nation to reduce queues at filling stations.
“The essence of this exercise is to ensure that the entire states are wet with petroleum products to avoid scarcity and panic buying by commuters during this period.
“As an Authority, we are doing everything within our powers to make sure that there are enough petroleum products in the system to help alleviate the sufferings of commuters.
“With the issue of scarcity across the nation, l found it necessary that NMDPRA come and ensure that there is even distribution of petroleum products across the nation, especially petrol.
“I am comfortable with the the load-out of petrol across the depots.
“The current distribution of petrol across the nation will address the issue of tightness in the market,” he said.
The NMDPRA boss said all depots in Apapa had products and were loading massively to Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and other states.
He said three vessels were also discharging petrol at Apapa jetty to MOMAN, DAPPMAN and other depots.
Farouk urged Nigerians not to panic and avoid panic buying, while assuring of availability of sufficient products at filling stations across the country.
According to him, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd.(NNPCL) stock report shows that there is enough product in the country.
“The major challenge was logistics between mother vessels and that of the import vessel into the depots.
“We have gone round Apapa depots; five out six depots visited had full stock and they are loading massively,” the NMDPRA boss said.
He assured Nigerians of sufficient products during the yuletide.
“We have enough stock on shuttle vessel coming into the depots, the depots visited are loading between 70 and120 trucks daily.
“Many of the depots visited are loading to distribute to Northern, Eastern and Port Harcourt axis.
“I have the assurance and convinction to tell Nigerians that the yuletide will be celebrated with ample supply of petroleum products,” he said.
On marketers selling above regulated prices, Farouk said: “We had the information that some marketers are selling above regulated and ex-depot prices.
“It was an allegation which we are investigating and need to confirm.”
Managing director of NIPCO Plc, Mr Suresh Kumar, said the company had about 28 million litres in stock and has commenced loading to all NIPCO stations across the country.
Kumar said supply and allocation of petrol had improved drastically and the company hoped it would continue to ease the situation.
“As at today, the number of vessels discharging at Apapa jetty has increased, we hope it is sustained.
“We are expecting two more vessels to come. This will increase our stock capacity to 55 million litres.
“Our products turnout has also been steady for the last couple of days. We have been loading five million litres per day and we expect this trend to continue for the next one week,” he said.
As at today, 11 Plc is loading 100 trucks of petrol daily with nine million in stock, while Aiteo is loading 126 trucks daily with 20 million litres stock capacity.
TotalEnergies loads 100 trucks daily with 65 million litres stock, and OVH is loading 70 trucks with over 10 million litres.