Prices of kerosene and automotive gas oil (AGO), popularly called diesel have increased significantly in major cities across the country due to inadequate supply by the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC), a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Corporation (NNPC).
THISDAY Investigations revealed the PPMC might have abdicated its core responsibility of ensuring availability of “petroleum products to sustain industries, run automobiles and for domestic cooking”, and has shifted focus to the supply of only premium motor spirit (PMS).
Industry sources stated the public outcry associated with inadequate supply of PMS in the country, might have prompted the PPMC to shun supply of kerosene used by majorly low income households and diesel used to power industries and businesses in the face of epileptic electricity supply.
It was learnt that several months after the PPMC claimed to have restored its System 2B pipeline network, which pumps petroleum products from Atlas Cove Depot in Lagos to other depots in the South-west part of the country, the only product being pumped into this network is PMS.
Under System 2B, which is the most active pipeline network in the country, petroleum products are pumped through pipelines from Atlas Cove to the NNPC depots in Ejigbo in Lagos; Mosimi in Ogun State; Ore in Ondo State; Ibadan in Oyo State and Ilorin in Kwara State.
It was however gathered that diesel and kerosene had not been pumped from Atlas Cove to Ibadan, Ore and Ilorin Depots.
The PPMC claimed it had restored normal distribution of petroleum products in system 2B network, after it repaired the vandalised pipeline at Arepo in Ogun State and the vandalised Ije-Ododo pipeline in Ojo Local Government Area of Lagos State.
But the PPMC, it was learnt, could only pump limited quantity of petrol from Atlas Cove to Ejigbo, Mosimi, Ibadan and Ore for tankers to lift the product from these areas.
Western Zonal President of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas workers (NUPENG), Alhaji Tokunbo Korodo, told THISDAY at the weekend the government was only concerned with the supply of PMS.
“Diesel is used in generators to supply power to most industries, businesses, and homes because there is no electricity supply and kerosene is used by the common man. But the belief in government circles is that once petrol is available, there is no problem. Today, there is scarcity of diesel and kerosene is untouchable. The ex-depot price of kerosene is N121 and once it gets to the filling station, the price goes higher,” he said.
Before the rehabilitation of the depots and pipelines under System 2B, which supply 60per cent of petroleum products used in the country, data made available by the NNPC showed that the pipeline between Atlas Cove and Ilorin Depot was vandalised on over 774 points.
Between Atlas Cove and Mosimi depot, the NNPC recorded 181 breakpoints caused by vandals.
About 421 vandalised points were recorded from Mosimi to Ibadan, while 50 points were recorded from Mosimi to Ore.
Also between Ibadan and Ilorin, there were a total of 122 breakpoints
The most vandalised pipeline under the network is Arepo in Ogun State, which has suffered persisted fires.
Information from This Day was used in this report.