Petrol Hits N800 As 240 Million-litre Vessels Arrive


The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited on Monday began offloading 240 million litres of Premium Motor Spirit, otherwise called petrol, as it stepped up efforts to tackle the worsening nationwide petrol scarcity.

As the NNPCL began offloading petrol, filling stations sold the product at an average price of N800 per litre in various locations.

Punch gathered that the 240 million litres of petrol imported into the country came in through five vessels, which were offloaded into five depots on Monday.

The South-West Regional Coordinator of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, Ayo Cardoso, confirmed this on Monday.

The Publication reported on Monday that despite claims by the NNPC that the logistic issues causing fuel scarcity had been addressed, Nigerians in Lagos and other parts of the country still struggled to get fuel as many filling stations remained shut.

It was gathered that the situation might worsen in Lagos and other parts of the South-West because there was a directive by the NNPC that fuel trucks must first service the Federal Capital Territory before any other places.

According to oil sector sources, hundreds of trucks loaded were sent to Abuja on Sunday based on the NNPC directive.

Newsmen who visited filling stations across the country on Monday observed that many outlets hiked their pump prices, selling a litre of petrol between N650 and over N1,000.

As the stations increased the pump prices of fuel, it was learnt that black marketers also used the opportunity to make brisk business, selling a litre of petrol at prices of over N1,200/litre, depending on the location and the bargaining strength of the buyer.

It was also observed that the hardship being encountered as a result of fuel scarcity worsened on Monday. The queues in filling stations became longer as work resumed across the nation for the new week.

The fuel scarcity also coincided with the resumption of public schools in some states, adding to the burden on parents, teachers and school owners.

Speaking with journalist, the NMDPRA regional coordinator said the agency was doing its best to ensure Nigerians were not exploited by filling stations.

“We are doing something about the fuel crisis; very soon it will be over. Vessels are discharging as I am talking to you. What we are concentrating on is to push the NNPC, which is the supplier of last resort, to make sure they wet the entire populace.

“So, we have about five vessels already discharging the product, about 240 million litres are being discharged as I am talking to you right now. We are working round the clock.

“But then, once you have a problem, it takes like one or two weeks to (normalise), but people will keep on panicking, which is not supposed to be. All these kinds of things disrupt the normal way of operations. But with 240 million litres coming in from five vessels discharging to five depots already today, things will get back to normal,” Cardoso assured Nigerians.

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