NNPC spends $1.6b quarterly on fuel importation, regrets queues

Crude-oil-tanker• Senate begins work on new PIB,
• Govt to grow energy sector, says Osinbajo
• Cargoes of PMS discharging in Lagos, Calabar and Port Harcourt

With the scarcity of fuel persisting in many parts of the country, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, (NNPC) has assured that it has a three- thronged step towards ensuring the availability of the premium motors spirit (PMS) to all parts of the country.

The three steps according to the corporation include ensuring sustainable import, making refineries to and work and fixing the pipelines to be fixed and well protected from the activities of unpatriotic Nigerians.

In a joint briefing of State House correspondents on the latest development on the supply of PMS across the country, the Group Executive Director/ Chief Operating Officer, (Upstream) of the Corporation, Bello Rabiu believed that achieving the three objectives would go a long way in reducing the suffering being experienced by Nigerians.

Flanked by his colleagues in the Downstream and Refineries, Henry Ikem Obih and Anigbor Kragha respectively, Rabiu apologized to Nigerians for the suffering being experienced as a result of the prolonged fuel crisis in the country.
Rabiu, who gave the breakdown on the cost of importation of PMS into the country, said the NNPC spends an average of $600 million monthly on the importation of petroleum products, and an average of $ 1.6 billion dollars is being spent on the importation of PMS on quarterly basis.
“We are doing three things at the same time. One: ensuring sustainable import, making sure that the refineries work and the pipelines also works. That will actually reduce all these incidences.”
The officials confirmed that fuel stations in Abuja and adjoining states have been adequately supplied with the products, assuring that in matter of days the situation, would be brought under control firm control.

According to them the corporation has been working hard to ensure that supply issues causing the untold hardship to Nigerians is taken care off. this problem.

“What we are doing now is it ensure that we get necessary supplies into the country through imports as well as through our refineries. As we speak today, we have five vessels serving products all over the country.
“And not only in Lagos, but also Port Harcout, Warri and Calabar. Apart from these vessels discharging, we also have private sector people that imported and are discharging currently.”

At least 120 million litters. In moving the product out into the hinterland, we have a little option because most of the pipelines are still not working.

Meanwhile, the Senate has commenced work on the controversial updated version of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) and passed its first reading on Wednesday.

The PIB which could not be passed by the 7th National Assembly has now been re-named Petroleum Industry and Governance Bill (PIGB).

The PIGB as introduced in the Senate yesterday by Senator Donald Alasoadura (APC, Ondo Central) was the product of harmonised work by both chambers of the National Assembly.

In another development, Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo has said the Federal Government was working towards ensuring availability and accessibility of energy and petroleum products.

Osinbajo, represented by his Senior Special Assistant on Power Privatisation, Chiedu Ugbo, disclosed this at the ongoing Nigeria Energy Forum in Lagos.

The vice president said the administration would ensure that the energy challenges were addressed in a sustainable manner.

It is however emerging that the Federal Government is due to pay about N9.09 on a litre of petrol imported into the country.

Also yesterday, the Senate asked its Joint Senate Committee on Petroleum (Upstream and Downstream), Finance and Appropriation to immediately conduct comprehensive investigation of the joint venture cash calls by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

The Senate hinged its action on what it called ‘a prolonged silence’ by the Presidency on the bill as well as the continued agitation for its passage by the citizenry.
The petroleum industry framework was first conceived by the administration of the late President Umaru Yar’Adua and sent to the Sixth Assembly whose failure to pass the bill compelled the immediate past government of President Goodluck Jonathan to re-present the bill to the Seventh Assembly which again failed to pass the bill as a result of stiff opposition from Northern lawmakers especially over the allocation of 10 per cent royalty to oil producing communities in the bill.

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