Fuel Shortage Worsens as Petrol Scarcity Continues.


Nigerians are still struggling to get premium motor spirit (PMS) as many filling stations remained under lock and key throughout the weekend and into the new week, despite claims by the Nigerian national petroleum company limited (NNPCL) that the logistic issues causing fuel scarcity had been addressed.

Reports across the country indicate the situation might worsen in Lagos and other parts of the south because there was a directive allegedly released by the NNPCL that fuel trucks must first service the federal capital territory (FCT) before other parts of the country. As a result, majority of trucks leaving the depots in Lagos since Friday were heading for Abuja.

Operatives within the oil industry also allege that the product was being rationed by the NNPCL, which now allocates 5,000 metric tonnes of fuel instead of 10,000MT to depots.

One said “Because of the scarcity, there are directives that the product should be rationed. Depots now get about 220 trucks, which is half what they usually get. This is happening because of the erratic supply. If the NNPCL had enough supply, it would give everybody what they needed, and there would be no queues.”

The scarcity of the product is attributed to the NNPCL’s inability to import enough products. “The cause of the erratic supply is because the NNPCL does not have enough fuel imported. Regardless of the money or anything, the NNPCL sometimes experiences glitches in its supply. For example, at the NNPCL Jetty in Apapa, as of Saturday, there was only one tanker at ASPM which can take about 40,000 metric tonnes; the three other reception points had no PMS vessel.

“Whenever the NNPCL has disruptions in importation, we start having these issues. They will try hard to manage it, but it will later blow open. Last week, they said it was a result of logistics, but this is not about logistics; it’s about glitches in importation.

“All our trucks now are heading to Abuja. There was a directive to all dealers and marketers that they should serve Abuja first. All regulatory agencies know that products will go to Abuja until normalcy is restored. You can have your truck in the depot now for three to four days; they will just be telling you to hold on. You will not know what is happening. You will see other trucks going, not knowing their location determines their loading ahead of you,” the operator noted.

He added, “The Southwest will likely experience more queues in the next two to three days because the Abuja loading will continue until Monday. The government is prioritizing Abuja; they want the seat of power to have enough fuel supply.”

Spokesperson for the NNPC, Olufemi Soneye, denies those claims.

Soneye said the claims of fuel rationing was “completely false.” He said “that is false information. Is he (the dealer) tracking every truck to determine their destinations? If there are disruptions in fuel distribution for two-three days, it usually takes twice that time to return to normal. The situation should improve soon. One important point to note is that we have product availability.

“If they are familiar with the industry, they should be aware of this. Products need to be delivered to the states,” Soneye explained.


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