Fuel crisis to end in two days, says Baru
Petrol is being subsidised to the tune of N26 per litre, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Managing Director Maikanti Baru said yesterday.
According to him, the landing cost of petrol (PMS) is N171 per litre; it is being sold at the pump at N145 per litre – a difference of N26.
Baru told reporters in Abuja that the consumption of PMS had risen to over 50 million litres per day, due to hoarding and diversion.
He said the product was being smuggled across the borders because of the price disparity that exists between Nigeria and the neighbouring countries.
Baru said the Cost, Insurance and Freight price of PMS is $620 per metric tonne, adding that at N305 to a dollar, the landing cost translates to N171 per litre.
The Federal Government has approved preferential and speedy treatment for vessels carrying petrol, to end the lingering scarcity, according to the NNPC boss.
The Navy, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Customs and Excise and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) are said to be expediting the clearance of fuel vessels and anchorage services to facilitate speedy product transfers to various depots, including during weekends and public holidays.
The NNPC helmsman noted that President Muhammadu Buhari was deeply concerned about the fuel crisis and had ordered all stakeholders, including security agencies, to ensure a speedy resolution of the situation.
The NNPC, he said, has begun a 24-hour loading and sales operations at all depots and its mega stations across the country.
“Major marketers were also advised to carry out 24-hour operations, most of who have been complying. This has increased load-out from the depots significantly and continuous sales at the filling stations nationwide,” Baru noted.
He affirmed that in addition to the regular supply circle, the NNPC had programmed the delivery of additional 300 million liters in December 20l7 and January 2018 to beef up national reserves to 45 million litres per day, well above the normal consumption requirement of between 27 and 28 million litres per day.
He added that in the last two weeks, the national truck-out capacity had strengthened up to an average of l,500 trucks, about 52 million litres per day, which, he explained, was higher than the normal consumption of 850 trucks per day.”
The NNPC boss said at present, 13 vessels, with an average capacity of 650 million litres, were discharging the commodity at ports across the country, noting that three vessels with the commodity were coming in before the end of the week, bringing the combined quantity of the product in depots to 814 million litres of petrol till the end of the month.
He added that 14 shuttle tankers, with a combined capacity of 187 million litres of the commodity, would be discharging the product at various destinations across the country in the next three days.
In addition to the importation of the product, Baru noted that the Port Harcourt and Kaduna refineries were contributing about one million litres per day and 2.8 million litres per day of PMS. He said since the fuel crisis began, both refineries had contributed about 61 million litres.
To ensure the speedy resolution of the crisis, Baru said the NNPC had activated the ‘Fuel War Room’, comprising NNPC, Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA and Petroleum Equalisation Fund, PEF.
The team is coordinating all interventions for supply and distribution of PMS nationwide. With the support of security agencies, the team is already working round the clock to ensure a speedy resolution of the current fuel situation.
With all these measures, Baru said, and if full compliance is achieved, the crisis would end within the next two days, adding that efforts were in place to ensure that the crisis did not go beyond this week.
Baru also accused black marketers of sabotaging efforts to end the fuel crisis, stating that most of the peddlers permanently put their vehicles on queues at petrol stations, and after purchasing, discharge the products into containers and return to join the queues.