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Fuel Queues Will End Soon; Avoid Panic Buying, NMDPRA Advises Nigerians

The Nigeria Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) on Wednesday said the queues at filling stations will soon disappear as marketers commence massive loading of petrol.

The Chief Executive Officer Farouk Ahmed spoke while leading a delegation of the Authority on a stock monitoring exercise within depots in Lagos.

The delegation visited the NIPCO, Total, Aiteo, OVH, Conoil, 11 Plc and HOGL depots in Apapa.

Farouk said: “I am comfortable with 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.”

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 depots.

Farouk urged Nigerians to avoid panic buying.

According to him, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd (NNPCL) stock report shows that there is enough product.

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.

”We are expecting two more vessels to come. This will increase our stock capacity to 55 million litres,” he said.

Also, 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 of stock capacity.

TotalEnergies loads 100 trucks daily with 65 million litres of stock, and OVH is loading 70 trucks with over 10 million litres.

Also yesterday, the Lagos Satellite Depot Branch of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), urged the Federal Government to ensure that all marketers are given a level playing ground to operate in the industry.

Chairman of the Lagos Satellite Depot, IPMAN, Mr Akin Akinrinade, alleged that NNPCL of not meeting up the supply needs of marketers.

According to him, IPMAN members are now forced to buy the product from private depots at higher ex-depot prices.

He added that consultations are ongoing for the Association to take a position if the NNPCL does not arrange for IPMAN members to load petrol at the government price of N148.17 per litre within the next seven days.

“How do you explain the fact that major marketers and the NNPC retail outlets sell petrol at N170/litre and N169/litre at their stations, respectively, and still make a profit?

“Why is it impossible for the private depots to sell to IPMAN members at regulated prices since they get their supplies from the same source as major marketers?

“Nobody seems to be interrogating this obvious anomaly,” he said.

Flanked by other executive members of the Association, Akinrinade was categorical that his members have gotten to a point where they may boycott the depots “until the NNPC thinks it fit to arrange depots for us to load petrol at government approved price”.

Private depots have increased the petrol price to N235 per litre.

Besides, the regulator (NMDPRA) has not updated the sole importer – NNPCL – of PMS stock sufficiency record on its website since November 24.

The opaqueness is at variance with the transparency that the Federal Government and NNPCL prided themselves on when the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) came into force last year.

IPMAN National Vice President, Alhaji Abubakar Maigandi, said the NNPCL’s distribution tactics had aggravated the dearth of the product.

According to him, NNPCL only supplies petrol to private depot owners and major marketers.

Maigandi said: “The scarcity is because of the way NNPC is distributing the product.

“They are only giving it to private depot owners and when they give private depot owners they sell it at a higher rate to independent petroleum marketers.

“Presently, marketers are buying this product at the rate of N235 per litre.

“Since the time NNPC said the fuel will be available before the festivity period till now we have not seen any change.”

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