The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the House of Representatives yesterday assured Nigerians that there will be no incident of fuel scarcity during the upcoming Christmas period and even up to the New Year.
Mr. Mele Kyari, the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, and the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Downstream, Hon. Abdullahi Mahmud Gaya, gave the assurance on Wednesday during an inspection tour of the newly rehabilitated Ijegun-Egba access road in Lagos.
The road project was funded by the petroleum product depot owners operating in the community to help alleviate the plight of the residents and also ease movements of petroleum products in and out of the community.
Speaking to journalists at the tour, Kyari who led the inspection team to the area, said over 2.6 million litres of petrol was available to carry Nigerians throughout the festive season.
He, however, allayed fear of any scarcity of fuel arising from distribution glitch, saying that the corporation has a robust supply plans to make sure such does not occur.
Kyari said: “We have over 2.6 billion litres of product in tank and in marine in the country, PMS in particular. We have a robust supply plan that stretches well across the Christmas period and into the New Year and actually forever. Our plans are robust, so we have no fear what so ever of any supply disruption or distribution recession and Nigerians will go to Christmas peacefully.”
He said the era of sharp practices by unscrupulous persons in the supply and distribution activities has gone, adding: “I have never seen this level of alignment of stakeholders as we see today and I know that those sharp practices of the past are gone for good.
“That’s why we are talking to our partners, the Deport Owners and every stakeholder, and they have assured us that nothing like that will happen”.
Commenting on the intervention by depot owners on the Ijegun road, the GMD stated that that has brought respite to the people of the area.
“Definitely respite has come. The depot owners in particular were able to pool their resources together to fix this road through the Nigerian Army Corps of Engineers and they are doing an excellent job on it and the result will be that there will be free movement of trucks out of this location to our locations all over the country.
“And we are practically here to tell them thank you and to tell them this effort will not go unnoticed. And of course, in a larger context, the whole country is grateful to this deport owners and the Nigerian Army of Engineers, and of course, we are also collaborating.
“There is a wider engagement of all stakeholders including NNPC, the Federal Ministry of Works, the Deport Owners, the Lagos State Government to make sure that we have a lasting solution to this. But in the main time, I think we have done a good job on this, and I believe we have this palliative situation that will make us deliver products to our locations”, he said.
According to him, up to 20 million litres of product are loaded out of from Ijegun depots every day.
Also, Gaya, who said he would go back to the House to intimate his colleagues about what he had seen, however, said: “We assure Nigerians, we will make sure that we do everything possible to make things very easy for Nigerians in this festive season”.
The chairman, Ijegun-Egba, Satellite Tank Farm Owners Association and Managing Director, Emadeb Energy, Mr. Debo Olujimi, expressed his satisfaction with the level of support and collaboration from the NNPC and other stakeholders in ensuring that the challenges of operators were addressed.
He said: “Well, we are very happy as depot owners. A combination of all the deports is close to 600 million litres, and as I speak to you, on the average, we are doing between 18 to 20 million litres. The collaboration in terms of what we need, in terms of support, we are already getting it from the NNPC, the Lagos State Government and every stakeholder.
“The way things are going, for the end of the year, there will strictly be robust and 24 hour’s operations out of here. Where we have issues on the road, the Lagos State in combination with the Federal Government and NNPC here are already taking care of it. Going forward, we can only assure the residents and all the stakeholders within Ijegun that everything here will be smooth and that their lives are safe and secured”.