The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, on Sunday directed the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company to work out special measures with the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency for a hitch-free supply of petroleum products nationwide ahead of the forthcoming yuletide and New year.
Mr. Kachikwu, who is also the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, said the special intervention measures would involve building additional stock of products through massive truck-out of supply to guarantee availability of fuel in all parts of the country at all times during the festive period.
The Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the Corporation, Ohi Alegbe, said the new measures were in line with NNPC’s commitment to ensure the current fuel scarcity in some parts of the country was stopped.
On Friday, the Managing Director of PPMC, Esther Nnamdi-Ogbue, said the Corporation had since increased significantly the daily number of trucks that supply fuel to some strategic locations like Abuja, Kaduna, Kano, Enugu, Ibadan and Jos.
For instance, the PPMC boss said some filling stations in Abuja, which before the current crisis, were receiving about three trucks of fuel daily, have since increased their allocations significantly to between five and seven trucks.
“Our intention is to ensure free flow of products across the country through the yuletide period,” Mrs. Nnamdi-Ogbue said. “We don’t want Nigerians to celebrate Christmas and New Year on fuel queues at filling stations.”
She said the NNPC was consolidating its strategic alliance with some major depot owners and oil marketers with strong regional distribution system in the country to ensure maximum penetration of the hinterland with products throughout the festive period.
Urging the public to refrain from hoarding products, diversion and panic buying of petrol, Mrs. Nnamdi-Ogbue said the intervention measures would help check the challenges posed by the unavailability of pipelines for the transportation of petroleum products across the country.
“Apart from the dangers associated with fuel hoarding, products diversion is an economic crime,” she said, adding offenders must be promptly reported to relevant security agencies for prosecution.