Plagued by the problem of perennial fuel scarcity in the country , the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), has concluded plans to permanently solve the problem by adopting a two-pronged approach.
The Group Executive Director (GED) Commercial and Investments of NNPC, now known as NNPC Ventures, Dr. Babatunde Adeniran, announced this in Benin, Edo state at the weekend while speaking to journalists, shortly after assessing the fuel supply situation in the state.
He said the approaches include securing products availability through local refining by the existing three refineries and massive strategic storage of petroleum products in the Corporation’s offshore and on-shore storage facilities.
Adeniran who described the situation as “unpalatable,” pleaded with Nigerians to be patient and bear with the NNPC, assuring that supply of products would start getting normalised beginning from the first week of April.
He listed causes of fuel scarcity to include inadequate forex, configuring refineries abroad from winter to summer and pipeline vandalism.
“Fuel will soon be available as soon as we have this Summer configuration which is peculiar to Nigeria needs. I have seen long queues and seen where they are selling and where they are not selling. It is a situation that is not palatable.
“Nobody is happy with what is happening despite all the efforts we have put in place. The bottom line is the amount of forex available. The problem is not peculiar to Nigeria alone. Refineries in Europe are changing their configuration from winter to summer.
“Our Refineries are coming up. We can now supply crude to Port Harcourt and Warri. We are making effort to push crude to Kaduna refinery. To push crude to Kaduna will take about 10 days. They are warming up already in Kaduna to receive crude,” he said.
Adeniran disclosed that the NNPC was planning strategic storage of products both offshore and on land to secure products and appealed to pipeline vandals to desist from sabotaging the corporation’s facilities.
“If pipelines are working, there would not have been products scarcity. All these facilities put in place by government for the benefit of the people should be taken care of,” he said.
Meanwhile, following acute scarcity of the product, pump price of fuel sold for between N230 and N250 per litre in some filling stations in Benin on Sunday.