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NNPC Says Fuel Stations To Operate Longer Hours To Aid PMS Supply 

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited says fuel stations are to operate longer hours for the supply and distribution of petrol, calling on fuel stations to aid availability given the current tight situation.

The company said the turnaround period of Premium Motor Spirit trucking is also elongated to ease the situation being witnessed.

The Executive Vice President, Downstream, NNPC Ltd, Dapo Segun, said this on Monday in Abuja during a joint inspection of stations by the firm and the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority officials.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the NNPC and the NMDPRA embarked on a joint monitoring of the supply and distribution of fuel stations in the Federal Capital Territory and across the country to ensure that queues disappear.

NNPC had said that fuel queues in the FCT and parts of the country were a result of disruption of ship-to-ship transfer of fuel between Mother Vessels and Daughter Vessels resulting from recent thunderstorms.

It said adverse weather conditions; including rainstorms and lightning, had also affected berthing at jetties, truck load-outs, and transportation of products to filling stations, disrupting station supply logistics.

Speaking during the inspection, Segun said there was a gap in the ship-to-shore discharge of PMS which he described as a volatile liquid, adding that during thunderstorms it could not be discharged rather it had to suspend ship-to-shore movement.

“This also affected the loading of trucks at the depot because of safety reasons, so we have to suspend all that during thunderstorms and that’s why you see this tightness.

“Though we have a challenge over the bad portions of motorways which deteriorated due to rains and flooding across the country, we will ensure that we are loading out all through the weekend and that we are mobilizing trucks.

“We are getting fuel stations to run for longer hours and we are getting marketers to collaborate and share stocks, rather than have a station with more trucks, they can release those trucks to other stations for circulation,’’ he said.

Executive Director, Distribution Systems, Storage and Retailing Infrastructure, NMDPRA, Mr. Ogbugo  Ukoha,  said the tightness in Abuja and parts of Lagos arose from the inclement weather which affected operations offshore and routes trucks ply.

When asked about its effort to stop hoarding and the nefarious activities of black-marketers, Ukoha said its officials were on the ground going through the stations and depots to make sure that there was no hoarding.

“Due to the tightness in supply, there may be elements who will try to take advantage of that. We assure Nigerians to go about their businesses and purchase the volume they need without panic,’’ he said.

On any plan to increase fuel pump price, Ukoha said there was no intention or any anticipated plan to increase pump price, adding that the two organisations would continue to collaborate to ensure energy security.

On this background, he said, the authority had done its regulation on national strategic stock and framework, adding that it was at the threshold of operationalising the framework.

“Again the sensitivity on the pump price is another matter, once those national strategic stocks are in place the logistic issues we have will be mitigated to a large extent and stabilise both supply and prices,” Ukoha added.

NAN reports that the team inspected fuel stations in the FCT, including the NNPC Ltd. Retail Outlet at Katampe and the AP fuel station located at Ibrahim Way, Garki 2, which have long queues.

The stations’ managers also confirmed the availability of enough stock, adding that the stations’ pumps dispensed accurately and relied on constant energy to dispense fuel to motorists.

Motorists on the ground also appealed to the government to find lasting solutions and expressed mixed feelings as some have spent longer time queuing for fuel while some did not waste time before their turns.

NAN

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