NNPC targets two weeks to end fuel scarcity

Titilayo Ipinjolu

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has urged Nigerians to be patient with the difficulties they are presently going through, due to the current fuel situation in the country.

In a statement, the Corporation assured Nigerians that the Government was not taking their patience for granted and was working to improve the situation in two weeks .

“We urge Nigerians to continue to be patient because the difficulties being experienced as a result of the situation will soon be alleviated,” the statement read.

Continuing that “we would like to assure all Nigerians that the Honorable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources/Group Managing Director, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu and everybody else associated with this situation is working tirelessly round the clock to ensure relief is brought to Nigerians.

Our immediate concern is to make petrol available through the interventions and processes put in place so that the queues will disappear within the next one to two weeks. As at 1600hrs of today, one (1) PMS cargo containing 42 million litres has completely discharged, two (2) more PMS cargos with a combined ‘Remaining on Board’ (ROB) of 44 million litres are currently discharging while another PMS cargo containing 44 million litres is berthed and awaiting discharge,” the statement added.

NNPC revealed that there were enough products lined up to ensure that the supply gap which created the problem was bridged.

“In order to ensure effective distribution, we are working with Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), oil majors and over 1,000 NNPC staff, nationwide to ensure we overcome the obstacles in the distribution of the products,” the statement read.

On some of the difficulties encountered, the statement explained that “while not resorting to excuses, we would like to re-emphasize that this present management of NNPC and indeed the Government inherited huge and complicated problems with respect to importation, distribution and pricing of petroleum products. Nigerians would recall that the sum of N522,258,934,505 meant for payment of fuel subsidy, covering the last quarter of 2014 (October to December) and the entire 2015 was approved by the Senate in December 2015 in order to pay for subsidy arrears inherited by this government.”

On long term solutions, the NNPC stated that it was working with the Government to put in place machinery to ensure that refineries are fixed and working optimally, and the pipelines, which have been under attack for some time now, are repaired.

According to NNPC “the Direct Sale Direct Purchase (DSDP) arrangement for crude will commence in the first week of April and all these coupled with the fact that the President has given his support to increase the crude supply to NNPC to ensure local sufficiency of products will go a long way to solve the problems in the short and long term.”

NNPC wished Nigerians a happy Easter holiday and assured that while the holiday was being observed, the Corporation would continue to work hard to bring the fuel scarcity to a ‘speedy end’.