By Michael Eboh
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Tuesday, called on Nigerians to desist from panic buying of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), also known as fuel, stating that it has about 23 days of product supply in all its depots across the country.
Reacting to the resurgence of fuel queues in some cities across the country, the NNPC, in a statement by Mr. Ohi Alegbe, Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, stated that its depots have about 927.461 million litres of PMS which is enough to serve the country for the next 23 days if no drop of the product is imported within the period.
The NNPC blamed the resurgence of queues at petrol filling stations on rumour of an impending scarcity, assuring that it has enough products to meet the demand of the country.
It also warned oil marketers not to engage in sharp practices, stating that anyone found wanting would be dealt with decisively.
The NNPC noted that it recently held a meeting with the members of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) and the Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA) to rally them for the uninterrupted fuel supply policy of the administration.
It also stated that it has set up a monitoring team at the Pipeline and Products Marketing Company (PPMC) to check sharp practices that could breach the distribution and supply system.
It warned marketers not to engage in products hoarding and diversion as the PPMC monitoring team is empowered to sanction anyone found defaulting in those regards.
The NNPC had on Monday promised to work with other downstream petroleum sector stakeholders to eliminate obstacles to the free flow in supply of petroleum products across the country.
Mr. Ibe Kachikwu, Group Managing Director of the NNPC had also vowed to work with other relevant Federal Government agencies to fast track the payment of outstanding subsidy claims to oil marketers.
In the interim, Kachikwu had promised to arrange for a meeting with the relevant creditors (bankers) to ease off pressure on marketers and extend the credit lines.
He added that several financing mechanism are being explored to offset the commitment to oil marketers.
He hinted at the possibility of exploring the monthly payment option, stating that the Federal Government might, in the future, explore some creative means to prevent backlogs.
Kachikwu had also stated that the issue of uninterrupted supply and distribution of petroleum products across the country is of utmost importance to the present administration.
He noted that the Federal Government is willing to do everything possible to ensure that members of the public do not go through any form of hardship in accessing petroleum products particularly PMS.