…Queues spotted around Lagos metropolis
By Adewale Sanyaolu
Despite being able to restore some normalcy in fuel distribution at the weekend, some filling stations in parts of Lagos have been struggling to get adequate volumes to service their customers.
Daily Sun findings revealed that some filling stations, including Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation retail outlets located in Ogba, Ikeja, Ikoyi, New Oko-Oba and Victoria Island were out of supply as at Sunday evening.
On the other hand, pockets of queues were visible around some filling stations in the Egbeda and Isheri axis of Lagos.
The development may not be unconnected with the inability of the NNPC vessel to arrive on schedule as at Friday.
But latest findings by Daily Sun revealed that a vessel arrived at the Oando’s ASPM Jetty in Apapa, Saturday and is solely dedicated for the operations of major oil marketers while the NNPC vessel expected to arrive on Friday berthed Saturday at the Folawiyo depot. Both vessels have not started discharging as at Sunday.
Another vessel is also being expected today for the operations of NIPCO and AITEO.
A marketer in one of the depots at Apapa, told Daily Sun that the delay in the arrival of the vessels was the major reason some filling stations are out of supply.
He said once the vessel begins to discharge, the pockets of queues still being witnessed in some locations will disappear latest by Wednesday while those without products will begin to get fuel.
‘‘You should also take note of the fact that the chaotic traffic situation in Apapa is equally not helping matters. It takes a tanker an average of one week to get to the loading bay in Apapa. So I expect the Government to do something urgently in order to decongest the Apapa corridor,’’ he said.
For his part, the Managing Director of Nigerian Products Marketing Company (NPMC), a subsidiary of NNPC, Mr. Umar Ajiya, said what the NNPC was doing to address some of the challenges facing petroleum products distribution was to ensure that all its depots are rejuvenated, admitting that NNPC depots are not enough to meet the demand for petroleum products.
In the light of this, he said the Corporation has been able to fix the Mosimi, Ibadan, Ejigbo, Aba and Kano depots and now moving on to do same for Enugu and Ilorin depots in a bid to reduce pressure on Lagos depots, especially the ones located within the Apapa corridor
Also speaking, the Executive Secretary of the Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA), Mr. Olufemi Adewole, insisted that there was shortfall in supply of petroleum products, a claim the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu, had last week alluded to during a press briefing in Abuja.
Adewole advised NNPC to up its game in the supply of petroleum products, saying demand is usually high in December.
Corroborating the claims of Adewole, the Ejigbo Satellite branch of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), said that the inability of NNPC to pump petrol to the depots was the major cause of fuel queues witnessed last week.
Alhaji Balogun Alanamu, Chairman of Ejigbo Satelllite branch, said that the NNPC management should be blamed for the ongoing fuel queues across the country.
Alanamu, also the Chairman of IPMAN Lagos Zone, said that the management of NNPC only allocated 20 trucks to marketers on daily basis out of 150 trucks being loaded daily.