The Management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation on Monday began fresh measures to halt what it described as artificially induced petrol scarcity noticeable in some parts of the country.
To this end, the corporation said it plans to import more than one billion litres of petrol in March to address short fall in supply.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr. Joseph Dawha, in conjunction with the Chief Executive Officers of the NNPC subsidiaries, began detailed monitoring of fuel stations in Abuja.
Others in the exercise were the Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency, Farouk Ahmed; and the Managing Director of the Pipeline Products Marketing Company, Haruna Momoh.
Also in the team was the Director of Department of Petroleum Resources, George Osahon.
Dawha said the exercise was to checkmate hoarding and panic buying of petrol, particularly in Abuja, Lagos and their environs.
The GMD said there was enough petrol in the nation’s stock to take care of the need of motorists.
He said as the supplier of last resort, the corporation was doing everything within its mandate to alleviate the avoidable hardship caused by the situation.
Ahmed said the problem was more artificial because there were enough products.
He said: “The problem we have is not really with the supply because there is enough supply.
“The PPMC has almost more than 800,000 metric tones that will be arriving in the month of March, which is over a billion litres in terms of our daily consumption.
“Other marketers are also bringing in their cargo so by the end of the week, hopefully, everything will be clear.
“I think we should just encourage the people to desist from panic buying.
“Things are going to be very okay.”
The Managing Director of PPMC said the corporation had more than enough of the products in the stock for the entire nation.
Momoh explained that there was a good build up till April and with this build up, “we are very confident that we will not have any problem in terms of supply.
“There are challenges with distributions.
“We will continue to handle those challenges and we try everything possible to make it seamless, smooth and as stable as possible beyond April.”
Momoh said the agency was putting in measures place to address other challenges beyond April.
He said that the other challenges, which marketers, who happened to be the other half in the chains of supply, would be addressed by the PPPRA.
The Director of DPR said the agency had measures to address hoarding and hiking of pump price above official price.
Osahon said the agency would collaborate with the security agencies to force marketers to sell products at the regulated price.
He said: “We are going to get the law enforcement agencies to force them to sell and at the regulated price.
“We are doing that at several filling stations around the country.
“We are doing that to support PPMC and PPPRA and make sure that these things ease off as soon as possible.”