November 30, 2021

Fuel Scarcity Has Nothing To Do With The NNPC

3 min read

By Adewole Kehinde

The confusion about the return of fuel scarcity became rife last week, making the NNPC to issue a statement on Monday to douse tension, and reassure Nigerians that government had no plans to adjust neither retail nor wholesale price of petroleum products in the country.

It will be recalled that in October, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Kano alerted the Federal Government over an imminent fuel crisis in the country following the decision by some unpatriotic private depot owners to unilaterally raise the price of the product.

The ex-depot price is paid by marketers before lifting products at the depot, while pump price is the retail price by consumers per litre of the fuel at the filling stations.

The Federal Government, last week, engaged marketers, assuring that the bottleneck overpayment of transportation bridging would be addressed

Despite assurances given by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, against any impending fuel crisis, most filling stations, particularly in the South-west part of the country, are still without the product.

I went round Abuja on Friday and noticed that few petrol stations in Abuja and environs are having normal operations.

I observed that the queues at some filling stations were as a result of panic buying by consumers.

Since the assumption of office as the Group Managing Director/CEO of NNPC Limited, Mal Mele Kyari has not only ensured adequate stock of fuel in its depots across the country but also supplied the marketers enough to meet consumers’ demand throughout the Yuletide season and beyond.

I even gathered that the Group Managing Director/CEO of NNPC Limited, Mal Mele Kyari has ordered that more cargoes be supplied to both Lagos and Abuja areas to ensure that the situation is brought under control as soon as possible.

“The fuel queues witnessed in some parts of the country is due to panic buying by motorists. We have assured the people that the NNPC has sufficient stock of petroleum products to last throughout the coming festive season and beyond, the spokesperson, Garba Deen Muhammad said few weeks ago

My investigation revealed that the NNPC Limited sells products to marketers according to the prices arrived at by the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority.

The ex-depot petrol price of N148 per litre and the pump price of N165 per litre have not changed according to the NNPC.

There is no doubt that some private depot owners are trying to sabotage the Federal Government by unilaterally increasing their prices despite the fact that the government has not raised the fuel pump price.

I am also aware that Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority have waded into the issue with the marketers, to pave the way for uninterrupted fuel supply in the country, particularly at the coming Christmas season.

On the issue that some private Depot owners have jerked up the price from N148 per litre to between N153 and N155 per litre, the NNPC Limited has continued to engage marketers, assuring that the bottleneck overpayment of transportation bridging would be addressed.

I confirmed last week that the NNPC Limited has over 1.7bn litres of PMS that will last beyond the festive period and well into the New Year, so most of what is witnessed at some filling stations is due to panic buying.

It is my hope the management of the NNPC Limited will investigate and intervene on some private depot owners trying to cause fuel crisis in the country by closing the depots as the last quarter approaches in order to maximize profit.

The NNPC Limited and the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority should   not fold its arms and allow such unpatriotic private depot owners to engage in unnecessary price increase while the public is always accusing their members of flagrant increase in fuel prices.

Adewole Kehinde is a public affairs analyst based in Abuja and can be reached via 08166240846, 08123608662. E-mail: kennyadewole@gmail.com

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