In a desperate move to end the recurrent fuel shortages, particularly of premium motor spirit, PMS (petrol) being experienced in the country, the Federal Government has declared a state of emergency for petroleum products distribution.
This comes even as private operators in the country now have the responsibility to bring in 60 percent of the scarce commodity in the second quarter, Q2 import allocations.
A very competent source told Vanguard in confidence yesterday that for Q2, the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA 44% allocation to Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association, DAPPMA; 40% NNPC/PPMC; and the balance of 16% to Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, MOMAN.
Confirming the developments, the Commercial Director, PPMC, Mr. Justin Ezeala, admitted to the drop in NNPC/PPMC new import allocation, saying that “it is meant to free NNPC to import only for itself, instead of importing for everybody as we have been doing since this year.”
He also admitted that the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and Group Managing Director, NNPC, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, had “directed that everything related to petroleum distribution must be treated as an emergency.”
To this end, he told Vanguard on the telephone that “beginning from tomorrow (today), we have confirmations for cargoes lined up to be received in-country. Petroleum cargoes are to be treated as essential commodities, with all the regulatory agencies – DPR, PPRA, put on the alert.
“We have put in place a process to receive them in terms of logistics and cut short on all the bureaucracies, as everything will be treated with emergency in order to end the fuel crisis.
‘To this end, we have also kept trans-shipment vessels in Warri, Calabar depots for easy reach to the northern and southern parts of the country.
“Today, we also held a meeting with officers of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, to join forces with the Nigeria Police to monitor and follow products distribution from the depots to the retail outlets to cut short on sharp practices.
“We also met with the national executives of the Petroleum Tanker Drivers, PTD, to alert them to the sense of the emergency, as it takes about four days to take products from Lagos to Abuja.
“We are also planning to re-stream the Systems 2B Pipeline, which transports refined products from Atlas Cove reception Jetty to Mosimi, Ibadan and Ilorin.”