The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority has assured Nigerians that the prevailing fuel crisis ravaging various parts of the country would soon disappear.
The assurance came amid growing fuel scarcity around the country, with a litre selling for as high as N350 in some areas.
The Coordinator of the NMDPRA in Delta State, Victor Ohwodiasa, gave the assurance when he led a team of the regulatory authority on an unscheduled inspection visit to some petroleum depots at Ifiekporo on Thursday evening and Friday in Delta State.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Ifiekporo Community is in Warri South Local Government area of Delta State.
Ohwodiasa said that a lot of vessels laden with Premium Motor Spirit, known as petrol, were already coming into the state.
He said the regulatory authority would ensure that the vessels discharge products as quickly as possible.
He said: “We will ensure that the depots receiving these products lift them out to the end users.
“By the time we have all the depots wet with PMS and they are lifting regularly, the looming scarcity we are experiencing will disappear.”
Ohwodiasa said the essence of the visit was to ensure that depots with the products dispensed to licenced retail outlets, eliminate middle men and also avoid diversion.
He said: “Once we get our daily manifest, we send our men out to make sure that those trucks gets to their actual locations.
“There might be one or two infractions.
“We have apprehended about two persons for product diversion and they were made to face the full wrath of the law.
“As a regulatory authority, saddled with the responsibility of regulating the Midstream and Downstream of the Oil and Gas sector in Nigeria, we will continue to do what we need to do.
“This is to ensure that the products are available and adequately and fairly distributed within Delta and neighbouring states.”
Ohwodiasa said the NMDPRA would carry out intense routine surveillance, adding that it would sustain the tempo to ensure that the right things were done in the Midstream and Downstream sector of the oil and gas industry.
He, however, urged people to stop panic buying, assuring that the Federal Government was doing everything possible to ensure availability of petroleum products in the country, particularly during the Yuletide season and beyond.
Ohwodiasa added that NMDPRA would ensure that the products get to the consumers at the right price, quality and quantity.
Among the depots visited were: Matrix Energy Group, Pinnacle Oil and Gas Limited and AYM Shafa Limited.
Speaking on behalf of the Matrix Energy, Francis Ibe, the Terminal Manager, Matrix Energy, said the PMS stock level at the Warri Depot was 14 million litres on Thursday.
Ibe said as at evening of Thursday, it had trucked out over four million litres.
He said: “With what I am pushing out, I know it will not be enough.
“Before now on weekly basis, we were receiving 40 million litres of PMS, but at the moment, we barely received 40 million in two weeks.
“So you can see the difference.
“Forty million litres in one week as against receiving one vessels in two weeks cannot solve the problem.
“There is a serious supply gap.”
Also, Luke Nnajieze, the Depot Manager, Pinnacle Oil and Gas, Warri Depot, said that the current stock level of the company in Warri as at Thursday morning was 3.1 million litres of Premium Motor Spirit.
Nnajieze added that the Automated Gasoline Oil was 2.9 million litres.
He said: “At the moment, we are out of stock of Dual Purpose Kerosene.
“On daily basis, we trucked 2.5 million litres to three million litres of PMS.”
Nnajieze identified heavy vehicular gridlock as a major challenge confronting their business in the area, calling on the government to assist in expanding or fixing the bad access road.
He also called for the dredging of the Escravos Bar to allow bigger vessels to navigate and bring in petroleum products.