In the bid to ease the distribution challenge that has led to the resurgence of queues at filling stations across the country, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) says about 18 million litres of premium motor spirit otherwise known as petrol is currently being distributed to fuel marketers from its depot at Ore, Ondo State, to ensure adequate supply of petrol to motorists.
Group General Manager of the Corporation’s Public Affairs Division, Dr. Levi Ajuonuma stated this while reacting to media reports that NNPC contractors had suspended importation of products on account of debts owed them by the Corporation.
Dr. Ajuonuma maintained that the Corporation has a robust stock of petroleum products that could serve the nation for the next 24 days adding that cargo ships have been scheduled to supply the country with enough products all through the year.
The NNPC spokesman disclosed that already arrangements have been concluded by the Corporation to engage 250 trucks to boost the distribution of fuel to retail outlets across the country.
According to him “Right now we have 18 million liters of fuel being distributed to fuel marketers from NNPC Ore depot and we are not rationing supply to marketers. Ships are delivering to the various depots to ensure steady supply of petroleum products to the end users”.
He appealed to Major Oil Marketing Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), and the Nigerian Navy, Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPMA) and other stakeholders in the Petroleum industry to partner with the NNPC to ensure effective distribution of petroleum products across the country.
“I have always said that the more the merrier and so the NNPC supports the active participation of all stakeholders. However, the challenge of distribution is something that cuts across the industry and so the Corporation is soliciting the collaboration of all stakeholders to get products across to the end users because distribution is internal and we must work hand-in-hand to address the situation”, Dr. Ajuonuma averred.
On reports of a drop in the number of ships waiting to discharge petroleum products at the ports from 30 to 16 weekly in the New Year, the NNPC spokesman said there was nothing in the development to cause anxiety as the arrival of the ships have been programmed to ensure adequate supply as well as to avoid unnecessary exposure to demurrage, adding that in the past the corporation was accused of creating a Petroleum Armada when it had many cargo ships waiting to berth.
On allegations that NNPC contractors have suspended importation of petroleum products on account of debts owed them by the Corporation, Dr Ajuonuma said it was not true.
He explained that the business of fuel importation is credit-driven and that the corporation tries as much as possible to meet its obligation to its contractors to avoid a breach of trust which is the soul of the business.
“It is not true that our contractors have suspended importation of products on account of debts owed them. NNPC is committed to meeting its financial obligation to them. In fact, as at today arrangement is being made to pay them, and they have assured of their commitment to meet their own side of the product supply contract. So there is no threat whatsoever to the supply side of the business to warrant insinuation of worse times as far as the fuel situation is concerned,” Ajuonuma stated.