Fuel Scarcity: Operators Blame National Energy Company’s Import Limitations For Supply Disruption

Fuel scarcity

Fuel scarcity in Nigeria intensified as operators cited the national energy company’s current inability to import enough fuel as the cause of the irregular supply.

Naijaonpoint reports that Nigerians in Lagos and other parts of the country struggled to find petrol as many filling stations remained closed during the weekend.

According to The Punch, an operator mentioned that the erratic supply is a consequence of the national energy company’s incapacity to import adequate quantities.

The cause of the erratic supply is because the NNPCL does not have enough fuel imported. Regardless of the money or anything, the NNPCL sometimes experiences glitches in its supply. For example, at the NNPCL Jetty in Apapa, as of Saturday, there was only one tanker at ASPM which can take about 40,000 metric tonnes; the three other reception points had no PMS vessel.

“Whenever the NNPCL has disruptions in importation, we start having these issues. They will try hard to manage it, but it will later blow open. Last week, they said it was a result of logistics, but this is not about logistics; it’s about glitches in importation.

“All our trucks now are heading to Abuja. There was a directive to all dealers and marketers that they should serve Abuja first. All regulatory agencies know that products will go to Abuja until normalcy is restored. You can have your truck in the depot now for three to four days; they will just be telling you to hold on. You will not know what is happening. You will see other trucks going, not knowing their location determines their loading ahead of you. 

“The South West will likely experience more queues in the next two to three days because the Abuja loading will continue until Monday. The government is prioritising Abuja; they want the seat of power to have enough fuel supply,” the operator noted.

According to sources in the oil sector, hundreds of loaded trucks were sent to Abuja on Saturday, based on the directive from NNPCL.

The officials, speaking anonymously due to lack of authorisation to address the press, revealed that the NNPCL is rationing the product, reducing fuel allocation to depots from 10,000 metric tonnes to 5,000MT.

Because of the scarcity, there are directives that the product should be rationed. Depots now get about 220 trucks, which is half what they usually get. This is happening because of the erratic supply. If the NNPCL had enough supply, it would give everybody what they needed, and there would be no queues,” one of the officials stated.

However, after being informed that there were reports of PMS supply rationing and prioritisation in Abuja that caused a shortage of fuel in the South-West, NNPC spokesperson Olufemi Soneye denied the claims, stating that they were completely false.

Completely false. That is false information. Is he (the dealer) tracking every truck to determine their destinations? If there are disruptions in fuel distribution for two-three days, it usually takes twice that time to return to normal. The situation should improve soon. One important point to note is that we have product availability.

“If they are familiar with the industry, they should be aware of this. Products need to be delivered to the states,” Soneye explained.