From Uche Usim, Abuja
In an effort to clear the petrol queues that resurfaced across the country in the last 24 hours, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has increased the daily supply of petrol from 550 trucks to 1,661 trucks to keep Nigeria sufficiently wet.
A statement by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Dr. Kennie Obateru, quoted the Managing Director of the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC), Mr. Musa Lawan, as saying that there are about two billion litres of petrol in strategic depots across the country to keep the nation well supplied for two months, even if no drop of fuel was imported in that period.
“We have embarked on a massive load out. Today, we trucked out 1,661 trucks from all depots across the country. Reports reaching us show that they have already started arriving at the filling stations. We believe that this would ease out the queues,” Lawan reassured.
Lawan disclosed that a 24-hour situation monitoring committee has been set up to track the movements of trucks from the depots to the various filling stations across the country, assuring that the queues will thin out in the next few days.
The PPMC boss explained that the disruption in the distribution chain was caused by the strike embarked upon by Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) over compensation.
He assured that with the suspension of the strike upon the intervention of the Group Managing Director of NNPC, and the resumption of loading, coupled with the extension of loading time, normalcy would soon return to the filling stations.
The GMD’s intervention on Monday led to the suspension of the strike by the PTD for one week.
Speaking in a similar vein at the State House after a meeting with the President, the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, assured that with the resumption of loading, normalcy would soon return to the fuel situation across the country.
He said the ex-depot price of petrol would remain the same for the month of May, urging marketers not to engage in arbitrary price increase.
He urged motorists to avoid panic buying in order not to compound the situation.
He called on all relevant stakeholders in the downstream sector to collaborate with the NNPC to ensure a quick return to the zero-fuel queues situation that Nigerians had been enjoying before the unfortunate disruption of the distribution chain.