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Politics

NNPC Rationing Petrol Supply, Prioritising Supply To Abuja – Officials

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Oil marketers and officials of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) have claimed that the national oil company is rationing petrol supply to depots and has ordered operators to prioritise loading to Abuja.

According to the marketers and NNPC officials, the oil company directed fuel trucks to service the Federal Capital Territory before any other part of the country.

Speaking with The Punch over the weekend, the officials and marketers said that most trucks leaving the depots in Lagos since Friday were heading for Abuja.

They claimed that hundreds of trucks loaded on Saturday were sent to Abuja based on the NNPCL directive, expressing worry that queues might linger for the next three days in the South West.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak to the press on the matter, also disclosed that the product was being rationed by the NNPCL, which now allocates 5,000 metric tonnes of fuel instead of 10,000MT to depots.

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.

According to a marketer, the erratic supply has been caused by the national energy company’s inability to import enough at the moment.

He said: “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.

He added, “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.”

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