By Ohiro Atakpu
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC Ltd) has taken quick and bold steps in addressing the problem of low quality Petroleum products and unexpected queues, which was quickly withdrawn by its affiliates.
Investigations shoeed that this followed a special directive from the CEO/ GMD of the NNPC, Dr. Mele Kyari tov the MD of PPMC, Mallam Isiyaku Abdullahi to relocate to Lagos for the appropriate, final action on the problem.
It was also gathered that he approved more trucks to bridge the supply gap.
The MD PPMC’s relocation to Lagos following the CEO’s directive was essentially to supervise the immediate withdrawal of contaminated products from circulation and most importantly ensure it stabilizes fuel availability from the Lagos, Ogun axis and other parts of the country.
Our investigation further revealed that Mallam Isyaku Abdulahi’s zeal to bring the situation to normalcy as well as efforts by other stakeholders has started yielding results.
He has authorised more trucks into Lagos from his strategic reserve to wet Lagos in the comings days and to end the wellingr queues due to panic buying by motorists.
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 the product to other parts of the country.
A source at the NNPC said senior management staff have all made inputs in making sure the challenge was successfully addressed, with the PPMC MD going on fieldwork full-throttle in Lagos.
Earlier, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority has announced that a 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 The anxiety over this withdrawn fuel was the rate at which it is burned out in vehicles and the accompanying costs for motorists.
“Methanol is a regular additive in Petrol and usually blended in an acceptable quantity,
“To ensure vehicular and equipment safety, the limited quantity of the impacted product has been isolated and withdrawn from the market, including the loaded trucks in transit,” the statement reads in part.
“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 agency 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. Dr. Mojishola Fatunde told our Reporter in Lagos that “what I see happening is deliberate act of sabotage by people who had wanted to use the festive season of 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 Ogun State -based Public Affairs Commentator, Olusola Momora decried the sudden return of fuel queues in the state, until a staff of Oando filling station told her that adulterated petroleum product earlier 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 results by ensuring the safety of millions of car engines in the country.
A cross-section of respondents in Abuja also told Our Reporters that the oil and gas sector has always suffered sabotage because the perpetrators erroneously believe that it is the only way they can cripple the national economy.
Some of the respondents called on the Federal Government to deal decisively with the perpetrators to serve as a deterrence to others.
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
Our finings revealed that no fewer than 300million liters of petrol has been injected into the market to arrest the situation.