Fuel scarcity continues, despite NNPC’s ‘special supply’
DESPITE assurance by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that it has begun regular supply of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) to filling stations across the country, consumers still go through hard times to get the commodity.
In Asaba, Delta State capital, a litre of petrol has skyrocketed to N170, taking a heavy toll on transportation and socio-economic activities.
Most of the retail outlets on the main streets of Nnebisi, Summit, Ibusa Road, Okpanam Road and Anwai Road were empty and their gates were firmly locked with “No Fuel” signs conspicuously displayed at the corners.
However, there was fuel at the NNPC mega station on the Benin-Asaba expressway where the pump price goes for the officially approved rate of N87 per litre.
Almost all the major retail outlets in Asaba and its environs lacked the precious liquid while some of the independent marketers, which had, sold for between N160 and N170 per litre.
An independent marketer, Rainoil, on Okpanam Road sold a litre of the scarce commodity for N100, resulting in a long queue of anxious motorists who waited patiently.
The Guardian investigations showed that many of the filling stations, which the NNPC has supplied fuel to, are either not selling at all or dispensing from only one pump thereby creating long queues of vehicles.
For instance, Total Filling stations at Alapere and Lekki Phase Two, which were supplied over 33,000 litres of fuel each on Tuesday, had long queues of vehicles yesterday because of the use of one pump by the station.
Meanwhile, figures from the daily dispatch of petrol to depots across the country indicate that 38, 277, 955, 00 litres of petrol was dispatched by PPMC across the country on November 16, 2015.
Also, NIPCO at Lagos State University road, Iba, which was not selling at all prior to the announcement by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Kachikwu Ibe, gave the marching orders to the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to ensure strict compliance by visiting adequate sanctions on defaulting fuel stations across the country hurriedly opened its pumps.
SONEG, BOVAG, Ibukun Olu, So Energy and many others were as at yesterday struggling to sell the product despite abundant supply by the NNPC.
The NNPC on Tuesday supplied PMS to Mobil, Conoil, MRS, Oando Forte, NIPCO, So Energy, Bovag, Ibukun Olu and so many others in different part of Lagos and across the country.
Though PMS is supposed to be sold at N87 per litre, the National Bureau of Statistics in its October PMS price control watch stated that the product is still being sold at above N100 in many states in the country.
According to the agency, a litre of fuel in Bayelsa State is N111; Abuja, N108.20; Cross River, N105.80; Kebbi, N100.24, Nassarawa, N102.50 and Taraba, N194.57.
The report showed that PMS was sold at the official pump price of N87 in Delta, Bauchi, Akwa Ibom, Katsina and Ondo states.
NBS put the average pump price of fuel across the country in October at N93.48 per litre.
The report indicated that average fuel price had remained significantly above the official price so far this year, with the lowest price at N93/litre in February, while the average peak price of N118.36/ litre was recorded in May, at the twilight of the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan.
The national average had been in decline since June.
Meanwhile, Kachikwu said there is no price reduction of petrol in the horizon and that marketers should desist from hoarding by making the products available to the motorists.
“I have instructed DPR that if they discover any fuel station involved in hoarding, they should sell the products for free to customers around there. It is not just sealing the station that is the answer. It is penalising them when they do these things and I hope the message goes out loud and clear,” he said.