By Joseph BAMIDELE
ABUJA-FOLLOWING the emergence of long vehicular queues which has besieged some parts of Nigeria, especially the Federal Capital Territory, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has assured that contrary to reports of imminent shortage of premium motor spirit (petrol) in the country, there is enough of the product to last a minimum of 30 days.
This clarification was made by Mr. Fidel Pepple of the Group Public Affairs Division of the Corporation in a statement made available to journalists.
He explained that there is no truth in the reports of imminent nationwide fuel scarcity as the Pipeline and Products Marketing Company (PPMC), a subsidiary of the Corporation, has enough fuel in the country to meet national demand for at least 30 days, even if all the local refineries were down and there was no importation.
“What we have discovered is that there is panic buying of fuel as a result of reports that some marketers have stopped importing fuel and that NNPC does not have enough to go round. But the true position of things is that we have enough PMS to meet national demand for a minimum of 30 days even if all our local refineries were down and there was no importation,‘’ he stated.
Mr. Pepple noted that major marketers had not been importing fuel for some time now due to reasons that are public knowledge, and that all the while NNPC as a national oil company has sustained supplies to the national economy.
“As the fuel supplier of last resort to the nation,’’ Pepple added, “NNPC will ensure that there is no shortage of supply.’’
He called on marketers and fuel station managers to desist from hoarding or diversion of the product as any marketer caught will be sanctioned. He noted that operators of some filling stations in Abuja metropolis have taken advantage of the panic buying and are creating situations that encourage exploitation of hapless motorists.
He also urged members of the public to avoid panic buying as adequate measures have been put in place to ensure free flow of petroleum products across the country.