Energy

Queues persist in northern states despite 1.8bn litres fuel supply

The queues by motorists for Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, particularly in Abuja and northern states have refused to clear despite the supply of about 1.824 billion litres of PMS by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited.

Also, the NNPC on Sunday denied claims that it had reviewed the ex-coastal, ex-depot and the NNPC Retail prices for petrol downward. It described the claims as fake news, in a series of tweets via its official Twitter handle.

Figures obtained by our correspondent from the company on Sunday showed that between February 14 and March 13, 2022, the oil firm released a total of 1.824 billion litres of petrol in a bid to keep the country wet with petrol.

But the queues in filling stations, which were triggered by the imports of adulterated fuel in January this year, refused to disappear and had persisted for about two months.

Meanwhile, the presence of black marketers who sell petrol in jerrycans is currently a normal sight in Abuja, as some filling stations in the capital city now dispense PMS far above the approved price of N162-N165/litre.

A filling station in Kubwa, Khalif Civic Oil and Investment Limited, for instance, dispensed petrol at N280/litre on Sunday and still had queues of motorists, while the few major outlets that had products were greeted with massive queues.

Petrol supply data from the NNPC indicated that the oil firm distributed a total of 387.59 million litres of PMS from February 14 to 20, 2022, in its bid to bridge the petrol supply gap.

The NNPC also stated that it evacuated 381.88 million litres of petrol between February 21 to 26, 2022, adding that from February 28 and March 6, 2022, it supplied a total of 538 million litres of PMS.

The company went ahead to state that it evacuated a total of 514.69 million litres of petrol between March 7 and 13, 2022. This brings the total supply during the one month period to 1.824 billion litres.

In its most recent petrol supply data for March 7 to 13, the company stated that over 70 per cent of all the evacuation took place at the top 20 high loading depots, as other loading depots evacuated less than 30 per cent

The top 20 high load-out depots, according to NNPC, include Pinnacle-Lekki, Matrix, Nipco, A.A. Rano, Aiteo, Ardova, 11 Plc, Fradro, AYM Shafa, Prudent, MRS, among others.

Other depots that evacuated less than 30 per cent include Integrated Oil, Pinnacle, Virgin Forest Energy Limited, Nepal, Conoil, Petrostar, MRS Plc, among others.

The NNPC has been the sole importer of petrol into Nigeria for about four years running. It had ensured that the commodity remained available nationwide, being the supplier of last resort.

However, despite efforts by the firm to keep the country wet with petrol, the queues in the nation’s capital have refused to clear, as well as in some other locations across the country.

The few filling stations along the Zuba-Kubwa expressway that dispensed petrol on Sunday, such as A.A Rano, Nipco and the NNPC, had lengthy queues.

Similarly, the queues in the two filling stations, Conoil and Total, located directly opposite the headquarters of NNPC in Abuja, have continued to be greeted with queues since January, as the queues persisted on Sunday.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, and the Group Managing Director, NNPC, Mele Kyari, had repeatedly stated that efforts were ongoing to clear the queues nationwide.

Also, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority had assured citizens in Nigeria that the queues would be cleared following the imports of billions of litres of petrol by NNPC.

Their promises have, however, not materialised in full yet.

Meanwhile, NNPC tweeted on Sunday that “it has come to the attention of the NNPC Limited that the company has reviewed ex-coastal, ex-depot and the NNPC Retail prices. This is not true.”

The company added, “It is fake news obviously concocted to cause confusion and to undermine the progressive drive of the NNPC to restore normalcy to the market.

“The general public and in particular industry operators at all levels should disregard this mischievous act of misinformation.”

The NNPC said it remained focused and determined to reposition itself to provide value to its shareholders while meeting its statutory obligation as a provider of energy security for Nigeria.

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