…As Nigeria expects 65mmt of PMS
By Adewale Sanyaolu
THERE were strong indications yesterday that the current fuel scarcity across the country would fizzle out by next week Monday if Federal Government’s expectation to wet retail outlets with about 65 million metric tones (mmt) of petrol by Friday, April 1 materialises.
Daily Sun investigation revealed that government may have ordered for the 65mmt of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), expected to be delivered in two cargoes by Friday.
This is coming as the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, had on Tuesday, while appearing before the Senate Committee on Petroleum (Downstream) said the scarcity would be over on or before April 7, 2016.
But a source, which pleaded anonymity told Daily Sun that the assurance by Kachikwu that fuel queues would disappear by April 7, would only be realised if the 65mmt ordered by government arrived on schedule.
It explained that there were a lot of logistic issues involved with the import, discharge and distribution of petroleum products, in Nigeria adding that the April 7 timeline may be a tall dream.
‘‘I just hope these two cargoes will arrive on schedule. If not, the timeline set by the Minister may be unachievable. It takes a cargo about four days to discharge products and so if by Friday the two cargoes fail to arrive, it means the fuel queues will remain,’’ the source said.
At the moment, it noted Nigeria has been surviving on diverted cargoes meant for other destinations all in a bid to cushion the effect of the scarcity. The development is costing the country additional 25 per cent in procuring petroleum products because such products were not originally meant for the country.
Meanwhile, fuel queues across major Lagos metropolis continued yesterday with motorists spending several hours at the filling station, as sanity returned to some major filling stations where managers refused to sell to jerry can customer.
The development was sequel to complaints from members of the motoring public against the idea of spending several hours queuing for fuel while priority is given to customers with jerrycans who later resell the content and return to buy again.