- Says 386 trucks diverted to black market
Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, has alerted of organised black marketeering in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, especially, Abuja metropolis, following what it said is the unpatriotic activities of black marketers that are determined to rubbish the corporation’s efforts to ensure regular and available fuel supply in several filling stations in the city.
According to an official of NNPC who spoke with Nigerian Pilot last night on the continuing fuel scarcity in Abuja, the corporation released a total of 111 trucks of the petroleum product into Abuja last Friday. But he added that, “I don’t believe all these volumes have been sold within 24 hours to warrant the long queues in the few stations selling,” adding that about 70 percent of the stations were not selling as at last Friday evening.
According to the NNPC official, he suspects that most of the volumes of fuel supplied were diverted outside Abuja.
“If one takes a drive along Suleja- Kaduna Road, you will see that all the stations along the road are selling despite the fact that we did not supply them. The question is: where are they getting the supply from? 111 trucks can refuel a total of 73,260 vehicles at a rate of 50 litres per vehicle. Between Sunday and Monday, 386 trucks were dispatched inside Abuja. That can refuel 254,760 vehicles at the rate of 50 litres each,” he further said to underscore NNPC’s efforts at stabilizing the fuel supply situation in the capital city, more products have been pumped into the system.
However, he added that for as long black markets exist outside Abuja, the product will definitely find its way to the hotspots where a litre of fuel can sell for a minimum of N120.
Since the current fuel scarcity started in the last days of the Goodluck Jonathan administration, it has been worsening by the day due to shortfall in supply (importation), compared to national demand.
So far, it has paralysed commercial, economic and social activities in the country, with a litre of petrol selling between N120 and N200 per litre, depending on location in the black market as against the N87 pump price.
In most state capitals and cities across the country, most filling stations remain barricaded as motorists queue for hours in the few that dispense the product.
At a recent media briefing, the Executive Secretary of Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, MOMAN, Mr. Obafemi Olawore, said that the outstanding subsidy payment and interest remained unpaid by the Federal Government which led to its members’ inability to import petroleum products.
Olawore said unless the over N200 billion that the government owes both MOMAN and Depot and Petroleum Products Marketing Association, DAPPMA, was paid, the scarcity might remain.
Also, the Executive Secretary of, DAPPMA, Mr. Olufemi Adewole, said the Federal Government owes its members over N200 billion. As it stands, the scarcity is likely to bite harder in the coming days as the available products are used up.