Petrol Scarcity: PPMC, PPPRA Move To Normalise Supply



The scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), otherwise known as petrol, across the country since late last week is persisting even as there appears to be some relief in some areas.

In Abuja, there were still long queues in most filling stations in the city. The Guardian observed that many motorists in the city now sleep in the filling stations in search of petrol.

The development has led to increase in transport fares with most commercial vehicle operators citing scarcity of the product as the reason for the increment.

In Lagos, the scarcity has eased considerably depending on the location.Meanwhile, the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) has blamed the current scarcity on breach within the supply chain.

Its Managing Director, Mrs. Esther Nnamdi-Ogbue, stated this in Abuja during an on-the-spot assessment visit to some filling stations in the city.

She explained that the firm had observed the possible breach few weeks ago, but added that urgent steps were on to address the situation in the next few days.

“The current situation is caused by a breach within the value chain and when the reaction did not take immediate effect, it reflects almost immediately. There was sensitisation of the public a few weeks ago about the probable situation.

“However, right now, we have about eight vessels coming in, each of which ranges between 30 to 40 thousand metric tonnes capacity, and these should be more than enough to ensure sufficiency,” she explained.

She added that over 400 intervention trucks have been deployed to service marketers in a bid to ensure availability at the stations.

The PPMC boss hinted that about 300 trucks were scheduled to arrive Abuja, while PPMC is also tracking them to ensure they duly arrive and the volume brought in actually discharged.

She stated that PPMC was working alongside the oil majors, independent petroleum marketers and other downstream firms to ensure that fuel queues disappear.

“We all are working to make sure that while we are trucking out efficiently, approvals and all necessary documentations are done effectively to make sure that there is no delay in the process of trucking out and distribution and that things are effectively done.

“Basically, we have the supply of an entire cargo per day. A cargo consists of about 40 million litres of fuel, which is the estimated national consumption volume per day in Nigeria.”

Meanwhile, the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) has embarked on an on spot-assessment and monitoring exercise of fuel stations in Abuja and its environs, following the recent re-appearance of queues at various stations across the country.

The monitoring team, led by an Assistant General Manager (Finance and Account), Peter Tokan, visited some retail outlets belonging to both major and independent marketers.

Tokan said there was regular allocation of products, especially PMS to filling stations, but observed that marketers engage in sharp practices in order to optimise profit margins.

He stated that the monitoring exercise would be continuous, stressing that erring marketing companies would be sanctioned appropriately.

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