By Adewale Sanyaolu
Fuel scarcity seemed to be abating in Lagos State as motorists’ queues have reduced in some filling stations yesterday.
It was also observed that majority of the outlets were dispensing fuel to motorists.
Some of the major marketers’ retail outlets in some parts of Ogba, Ikeja and Agege were seen selling products to motorists at the official price of N145.
But, the situation was different with members of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) as they sold a litre of petrol at N200.
The improvement in fuel supply in Lagos may not be unconnected with the national truck out capacity which had been jerked up to an average of 1,500 trucks, translating to 52 million litres per day which is much higher than the normal consumption of 850 trucks per day across the various depots in the country.
Group Managing Director of NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, had told journalists at a media briefing and follow-up tour of some fuel stations in Abuja on Sunday that measures were already in place to bolster the current fuel supply and eliminate the extraneous factors that have led to the persistent petrol queues.
Also the Corporation has emplaced a 24-hour loading and sales operations in all depots and NNPC Mega Stations across the country while marketers have been instructed to do same.
To ensure effective products penetration across the length and breadth of the country, Baru had explained that the corporation had activated the Fuel War Room comprising of team members from the NNPC, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), and Petroleum Equalization Fund (PEF), with support from the security agencies.
He said while the NNPC would naturally focus on increasing the volume of products on offer, the DPR, PEF and PPRA have scaled-up monitoring activities to ensure seamless loading and dispensing of fuel nationwide and to specifically ensure deliveries to designated stations and sales at the approved retail price of N145/litre.
On the volume of products available for supply, the NNPC GMD informed that 13 vessels laden with over 650 million litres of products were currently discharging their contents at the sea port while additional vessels have being lined up to berth early January 2018.
He said 814 million litres of petrol were currently being injected into the system to guarantee nationwide elimination of fuel queues before the end of the year.
Meanwhile, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, has clarified that the NNPC and not theFederal Government pays for the fuel subsidy that has emerged with the N171 landing cost of petrol as against the official retail price of N145. In an interview with the media in Apapa Lagos, he said since the NNPC buys the fuel, it bears the cost.
“NNPC is trading in fuel; the Federal Government is not at the moment paying for any subsidy. NNPC is the entity trading. If you are buying and selling fuel, you would have to be able to pay for it. So, it’s not a question of government making provision for subsidy,”he said.