By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
The NNPC Ltd has taken quick and bold steps in addressing the problem of low-spec Petroleum and unexpected queues, which was quickly withdrawn by its affiliates.
This followed a special directive from the CEO/ GMD of the NNPC, Dr. Mele Kyari for the MD of PPMC, Mallam Isiyaku Abdullahi to relocate to Lagos for the appropriate, final action on the problem. He also approved more trucks to bridge the supply gap.
The MD PPMC’s movement of his office to Lagos following the CEO’s directive was essentially to supervise the quarantined contaminated products with the Authority and most importantly ensure it stabilizes fuel availibilty from the Lagos area and other parts of the country. So far, according to our findings, his zeal to bring to normalcy and all stakeholders in the industry has started yielding results. He has opened more trucks into Lagos from his strategic reserve to wet Lagos in the coming days and to kill the looming queues due to the unfounded panic mood by many commuters.
Investigations further confirmed that the Managing Director PPMC, Mallam Isiyaku Abdullahi has paid attention to the supervision and total withdrawal of the bad fuel and all the trucks conveying same product to various parts of the country. A source at the NNPC said senior management staff have all made inputs in making sure the challenge was tackled successfully, with the PPMC MD going on fieldwork full-throttle in Lagos.
Earlier, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority has announced that limited quantity of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), commonly known as Petrol, with methanol quantities above Nigeria’s specification was discovered in the supply chain.
A cross-section of Nigerians interviewed by our reporters confirmed that the bad fuel tended to finish less than an hour of being filled into their car tanks, wondering what brand of fuel it was. The anxiety over this withdrawn fuel was the rate at which it is burned out in vehicles and the accompanying costs for motorists.
“To ensure vehicular and equipment safety, the limited quantity of the impacted product has been isolated and withdrawn from the market, including the loaded trucks in transit
“Our technical team in conjunction with NNPC Ltd and other industry stakeholders, will continue to monitor and ensure quality petroleum products are adequately supplied and distributed nationwide,” the agencies revealed in a media statement on Wednesday.
The media statement also revealed that “the source supplier has been identified and further commercial and appropriate actions shall be taken by the Authority and NNPC Ltd.”
It further stated that “NNPC Ltd and all Oil Marketing Companies have been directed to sustain sufficient distribution of Petrol in all retail outlets nationwide.”
Industry watchers expressed deep concern over the possibility of sabotage by unpatriotic Nigerians. Engineer Benjamin Moses told newsmen in Lagos thus: “what I see happening is deliberate act of sabotage by people who had wanted to use the festive seasons of Sallah, Christmas and New Year to create artificial scarcity but were defeated by the new NNPC Ltd, distribution strategy”, he said.
Also reacting to the development, an Abuja-based legal practitioner Hannatu Daniel said she was first disturbed by the sudden return of fuel queues, until a staff of Total filling station told her that a low-spec petroleum product that was ealier supplied to Nigeria has had to be withdrawn, hence the long queues.
Industry watchers expressed joy over the swift response of the management of NNPCLtd, saying the effort has yielded positive result by ensuring the safety of millions of car engines in the country.
A cross-section of respondents told our reporters that the oil and gas sector has always been the butt of sabotage because the saboteurs assume that it is the only way they can cripple the national economy.
Some of the respondents also urged the Federal Government to go after the saboteurs and bring them to book.
The NNPC and affiliates’ intervention is seen in some quarters as the strongest indication that the reform in the company is paying off, particularly in taking action at the appropriate time.
Meanwhile, NNPC has intensified efforts at increasing the supply of Petrol into the market in order to bridge any unforeseen supply gap. This was affirmed by the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority and reliable sources inside the PPMC.