- ’No cause for alarm’
- PTD laments oil industry fraud
By Adewale Sanyaolu & Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
FUEL scarcity and queues returned to major parts of Lagos metropolis at the weekend, disrupting the free flow of vehicular movement. The development confirmed our February 18, 2016 report warning of an imminent shortage of petrol.
weekend emerged in the controversies dogging the $24billion crude oil swap transactions between 2011 and last year, a period when embattled Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke held sway as minister of petroleum resources. in 2014. On August 5, 2011,
“The Honourable Minister will recall that an approval was given for the extension of the swap contract for a further term of two years after the expiration of the original term of one year. The renewal swap contract has not yet been executed by the parties and consequently there is no agreement in place for this transaction.”
Checks by Daily Sun revealed a situation of acute shortage of petrol, forcing some marketers to deploy the rationing approach to service some of their corporate clients who are on retainership agreement with them.
Contrary to a recent claim that there was no contractual approval for the deals, Daily Sun learnt revealed that the leadership of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) sought and got approvals for the transactions.
Oniwon, in a memo entitled: “Renewal of offshore processing agreement with Messrs Societe Ivoiriene De Raffinage (SIR), sought the approval of the minister to extend NNPC ‘s contract with SIR. The request was approved.
As early as 6am yesterday morning, long queues of motorists had occupied the NNPC retail outlet on Jonathan Coker Road in Fagba area of Abule Egba, in Lagos, far ahead of the 8am resumption time.
The same scenario occurred at the NNPC retail outlet on old Lagos Abeokuta Expressway, close to the Charity Road intersection at Abule Egba, in Lagos.
Long queues of motorcycles, jerrycans disrupted the movement of early risers, who had planned to catch up with Sunday service, forcing some to look for alternative routes in order not to be late for church.
A couple of fuel stations, were, however, shut, taking their time to observe the trend to see if it would get better by today before they begin to sell,a situation that has further compounded the fuel scarcity challenge.
For instance, the Conoil station on Dayo Adeniji Street, New Oko Oba,Abule Egba, was not opened. Also Fowobi at Fagba and a couple of others within the Abule Egba/Iju road axis were shut.
But the NNPC yesterday assured of sufficient supply of petrol as it has taken delivery of four more cargoes at the weekend. A statement by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs, Mr Ohi Alegbe, said the deliveries amount to about 180 million litres as part of efforts to have a cargo of PMS delivered daily as from tomorrow.
But an industry source who pleaded not to be named, said the fuel scarcity situation would continue until the end of this years first quarter.
The source said triple challenge of forex shortage, huge import allocation of 78 per cent allotted to the NNPC by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatroy Agency(PPPRA) for first quarter imports and the reduction in throughput margins for depot owners from N3.000 to N1.50k,remained the reasons for the unabated fuel scarcity.
He lamented that marketers have now resulted to sourcing forex in trickles from banks, which he said takes time to accumulate, thereby prolonging placement of orders for cargoes.
Meanwhile, National Chairman of Petroleum Tankers Drivers (PTD), a branch of National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Mr. Salimon Oladiti, has said corruption still persists in the oil industry in spite of the Buhari administration’s anti-graft war.
Addressing newsmen in Ibadan, he said: “Presently, 78 per cent of the oil we are consuming in the country now is imported by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), while the remaining 22 per cent is for major marketers.