The Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Farouk Ahmed, said the agency had issued allocation to eight companies to import PMS in the month of March, while the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Pipelines Products Marketing Company (PPMC) will be importing over one billion litres of the commodity in the same month.
Ahmed, who spoke following a meeting convened by the Finance Minister and Coordinating Minister for the economy, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on the fuel scarcity in the country, noted that with the over 500 million litres of fuel in the NNPC depots offshore Lagos and other depots across the country, Nigeria has total national sufficiency of 33 days.
“What this means is that if there was no additional importation of fuel in Nigeria in the next couple of days, we still have stock for the next 33 days. Hence, there is no need for concern and panic buying. We are not only concentrating on Lagos alone, but alsoon other urban and rural areas.”
Also speaking, representative of the Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA) at the meeting, Olufemi Adewole, said: “The tightness currently witnessed across the country will soon become a thing of the past. Our members are currently meeting with banks to open Letters of Credit. Once approved, cargoes of fuel will be imported.”
On his part, Executive Secretary, Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), Obafemi Olawore, promised that the queues being witnessed in filling stations across the country, will ease off in the next few days, as the marketers had moved about 495 truckloads of fuel to Lagos, Abuja and environs. This, he said has been on for three days.
Marketers, according to Olawore, have also imported three cargoes of PMS due to agreements with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Finance Ministry, especially the opening of over $500 million Letters of Credit (LCs) by the CBN.
“On Monday, major marketers moved 132 truckloads of fuel to Lagos, while 87 truckloads were moved to Abuja, and this is exclusive of the quantity moved by the NNPC, independent marketers and other marketers.
“On Tuesday, 137 trucks were moved to Lagos, while 139 trucks were for Abuja. You can see that the amount we moved to Abuja on Tuesday was far more than the quantity we moved on Monday. It normally takes between three and four days to transport the fuel from Lagos to Abuja, hence we believe the queues will ease off by weekend latest.
“Our actions are deliberate to ensure that the queues vanish and normalcy returns. I want to tell Nigerians that the tougher days are over, normalcy is expected to return pretty soon,” he said.