Uche Usim, Abuja
Petrol queues have returned to some parts of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) following a reported hike in the landing cost of petrol that has forced oil marketers to abandon lifting the product because selling it at the approved price of N145/litre will be a huge loss.
When our correspondent visited filling stations around Dutse and Kubwa expressway, the queues had not reached a frightening length; they were caused mainly by panic buying, a development the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation had warned motorists against.
NNPC, while debunking claims of a planned hike in petrol pump price informed that it had over 1 billion litres of the product in stock, while imports of 48 vessels of 50 million litres each have been committed for the month of April 2019 alone noting that there was no need for panic buying or hoarding of petroleum products in anticipation of a phantom scarcity.
Meanwhile, Abdulkadir Saidu, the Executive Secretary, Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) has expressed worry over the sudden re-appearance of queues at some filling stations over speculation of short fall in the supply of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).
He said the agency had continued to monitor products supply in the sector in line with its mandate to regulate petroleum products supply and distribution as well as establish an industry data bank.
He gave the average daily supply for the year 2017, 2018 and 2019 as 46 million, 54 million and 56 million litres respectively.
“These indicate an improved level of supply in 2019.
“Based on the available data, there is adequate supply of PMS with over 21-days sufficiency.
“PPPRA, therefore, urges fuel consumers across the country to desist from panic buying as the agency would continue to monitor the supply situation and take every step required to ensure that there is no disruption in the supply chain.
“The agency wishes to assure Nigerians to disregard the panic buying as there is adequate product supply in the system to meet the demands of consumers,” Saidu said.