Enterprise Television- 4,500 Trucks of Petrol Diverted During Scarcity – Baru
The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Maikanti Baru, has disclosed that up to 4,500 trucks of petrol were diverted last month during the fuel scarcity.
He made this disclosure while speaking before a meeting of the joint committee of the Senate and House of Representatives. The meeting was organised to find a lasting solution to the fuel crisis.
“Due to massive diversion, hoarding, panic buying and smuggling, coupled with the information that three Direct Sales Direct Purchase Consortia had rejected October cargoes, there was insinuation of a supply gap,” Baru noted.
According to him, the nation lost about 148,533,000 million litres of fuel to the suspected diversion during the fuel crisis.
Explaining the acquilla process, Mr. Baru said that it is a process which requires that a tanker returns to the ‘loading point’ after it has discharged it’s cargo to a particular filling station, for verification that the products had reached the destination.
“Up to 4,500 trucks of products were diverted. We are not just saying this, we have proof. These 4,500 trucks that did not return, are believed to have been diverted. And investigations are ongoing to know if they have really been diverted”, he added.
“PENGASSAN decided to announce a strike action from the 18th of December which led to panic buying. People with more than one car came out to fill all the cars and some even bought in jerry cans to save for the future,” he said.
Speaking on actions taken to resolve the scarcity, the GMD explained that the NNPC has increased its surveillance in partnership with DPR and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps.
“We directed 24 hours operation in all depots to ensure 24 hours loading of products. NNPC, in response to the crisis, brought in six extra cargoes, 300 million litres, as additional imports to increase sufficiency. We have re-activated and re-streamed the Kaduna and Port-Harcourt refineries. Kaduna has been contributing 3.25 million barrels per day and Port-Harcourt contributes 3 million,” he said.
While sympathising with Nigerians over the discomfort experienced during Yuletide, Mr. Baru said the queues “have disappeared from the filling stations in Abuja for about a week now and in Lagos for over 10 days.”
He however said that NNPC took some urgent steps to resolve the scarcity which included but not limited to the immediate activation of war room, additional imports to increase days sufficiency, 24-hour operations in all NNPC Depots and mega stations; sustained media and stakeholders engagements; increased monitoring, surveillance and sanctions as well as production at Kaduna and Port Harcourt refineries put at 3 million daily.
Baru also used the opportunity to call on the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) to review the pricing template and landing cost.
He also asked the National Assembly to approve outstanding subsidy payments and debts to marketers.