After the assurances by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) last week that fuel scarcity is gone for good, scarcity of premium motor spirit (pms) otherwise called petrol hits Lagos and its environs again.
During monitoring of fuel situation on Sunday by the Nigerian Tribune, it was discovered that most filling stations visited were shut while the few ones with the precious commodity were besieged by long queues of motorists waiting endlessly to get fuel.
Most filling stations situated along Ikorodu road were seen selling fuel. They included Forte Oil, Total, Nipco, Mobil, Oando and Conoil. The situation was not really good Mowe-Ibafo axis because most filling stations were shut except few like Matrix, Oando and Fatgbems.
The Executive Secretary of the Depot and Petroleum Products Marketing Association (DAPPMA), Mr. Femi Adewole, blamed the fuel scarcity on shortage of petrol supply across the country.
Adewole said what is playing up at the moment is the preference of the NNPC to deploy more supply to major marketers.
“The truth is that there is short supply at the moment, if NNPC can raise supply we will be able to get to inland areas and focus on major cities but I can tell you there is no much supply from NNPC. In efforts to ensure steady products circulation, most depots that are not operating 24 hours currently do 18 hours but where there is shortage in supply such efforts would not be felt,” he said.
The south west chairman of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Alhaji Debo Ahmed, stated that the main reason for fuel scarcity remains the same.
“Nothing has changed. NNPC is sole importer of petrol. They need to import more. There is no adequate products for Nigerians. Loading in Ibadan is poor due to low stock in Ibadan. Loading is ongoing at Ejigbo in Lagos but not enough, so it is very low and ineffective. Because other depots like Ore and Ilorin are not working, loading is taking place in Mosinmi to other south west states.
“If NNPC is giving us enough products, we will sell. We have been telling them that they need to improve import, else, there will be perennial scarcity. All claims by NNPC that they have products of 40 million litres per day were lies. We don’t consume 40 million litres of petroleum daily in Nigeria. It is the NNPC that imports fuel, so it should increase its importation so that supply will always exceed demand. If supply exceeds demand, there will be surplus and no fuel scarcity,” he said.
While reacting to the issue, the spokesman of NNPC, Ndu Ughamadu, told Nigerian Tribune in a phone interview on Sunday that the corporation has released 250 trucks of petrol to Lagos instead of less than 200 trucks it used to supply.
According to him, “you know we rely on major marketers for adequate fuel supply in Lagos and its environs, but there was a slight hiccup in discharging of petrol by ships which was rectified almost immediately. Expect normalcy to return soon.”