The Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation Limited yesterday advised consumers not to engage in panic buying of Premium Motor Spirit as it has over 1.7 billion litres of the product.
Its Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Malam Garba Deen Muhammad, made this known in a statement.
He said: “The public is hereby advised not to engage in panic buying of Premium Motor Spirit, more commonly known as petrol.
“The NNPC has over 1.7 billion litres of petrol in stock and more product is expected to arrive into the country daily over the coming weeks and months.
“It is, therefore, unnecessary to entertain any fear of scarcity of petrol throughout the festive season and beyond.
“The NNPC is also not aware of any plan by government to cause an increase in the pump price of petroleum.
“The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority has made that declaration last week.
“In view of these assurances therefore, the NNPC is advising motorists and other consumers of petrol to maintain their regular pattern of the purchase of petrol without getting into a panic situation that may send the wrong signals around the country.
“The NNPC is also engaging all stakeholders to ensure smooth supply and distribution of products to every part of the country during the festive season and beyond.”
Meanwhile, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria has constituted a taskforce to check hoarding of products by fuel station operators.
The Chairman of IPMAN, Kano Zone, Alhaji Bashir Danmallam, said yesterday in Kano in a statement that the task force would work in collaboration with the NNPC to ensure the availability of fuel at filling stations across the country.
The chairman noted that any marketer found hoarding products would be dealt with.
“IPMAN will not allow some unscrupulous elements within its fold to inflict hardship on innocent Nigerians,” he added.
The chairman noted that available records showed that 210 petroleum tankers were loaded with the products for distribution nationwide yesterday.
He called on Nigerians not to panic, adding that products being supplied would be more than enough for their use.
“I urge people not to panic, panicking is what causes long queues at filling stations because people have the impression that the products will be scarce.
“IPMAN, NNPC and other stakeholders are on top of the situation, rest assured that this problem will not last long,” he said.
Danmallam said the government had assured them that there was no plan to hike fuel price.
“IPMAN had contacted all stakeholders in the petroleum sector and they assured them that there is no plan to increase the price of fuel at the moment,” the chairman noted.
Meanwhile, otorists in Kano State are experiencing fuel scarcity, as long queues have resurfaced at filling stations in the State, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.
An investigation conducted by NAN Correspondents indicated that majority of the filling stations visited within the metropolitan area were under lock and keys.
The investigation further reveals that only a few filling stations were selling at the control price of N165 per litre.
The situation was, however, characterised by long queues and filling stations selling only with one or two pumps to customers in spite of the long queues.
The situation outside Kano metropolitan area is not different as majority of the stations outside Kano city remained closed while the a few ones operating were selling at above Government-approved price.
In Tsanyawa, Bichi, Dawakin-Tofa and Gwarzo Local Governments, reports indicate that the marketers sell the PMS at N174 per litre which is above the approved price by the government.
A lot of motorists were left with no option than to purchase fuel from black marketers at higher price, ranging from N1,000 to N1,500 per four-litre gallon, depending on the location.
Alhaji Idris Abdullahi, a motorist, said he went round the town to buy fuel on Saturday evening but couldn’t get any and the situation forced him to buy from the black marketers.
According to Abdullahi, he bought a four-litre gallon of fuel at N1,100, against the former price of between N700 and N800.
Malam Muazu Kafar-Na’isa, a driver, also added that he bought four litres of fuel at N1,500 at Tsanyawa on Sunday evening.
He urged the Federal Government to hasten measures that would restore the normal pump price of fuel in order to lessen the burden on the masses.
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Kano branch, had alerted the government over a plan by some private deport owners to increase fuel prices in the country.
Alhaji Bashir Danmallam, IPMAN branch Chairman, Kano state, was quoted as saying in a statement recently in Kano that the decision would cause fuel crises in the country.
He alleged that such private deport owners had already increased the price of the product from N148 to N153 and N155 per litre.
“The association found it necessary to alert the government in order not to blame our members in the event they increase the price of the commodity, as they will not sell at a loss.
“We are equally calling on the management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to investigate the issue with a view to proffering solutions,” he said.