….As NNPC intensifies massive loading
…Osinbajo says NNPC not FG bears the cost of fuel subsidy***
The biting fuel scarcity may end very soon as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) was indicated to have embarked on massive loading of petrol at different depots in Lagos.
The South-West Chairman of Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Mr Tayo Aboyeji confirmed this on Monday in Lagos, assuring Nigerians that the current scarcity of fuel would end in the next two days.
“I am glad to tell you that the product is now available and today, being Christmas holiday, tanker drivers are waiting to collect the product.
“Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is now making use of Major Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) tank farms to distribute petrol.
“This is to accelerate the product to different locations. As I am talking to you, our members are taking the product out of depots to filling stations across the country.
“To make it quicker, NNPC is also using Folawiyo depot, Aiteo and NIPCO depots and I can tell you that the rate at which loading is taking place now, the crisis will soon be over,” he said.
Atoyebi denied allegation of diversion of the product by his members, adding that such had not been reported to him.
“To the best of my knowledge no such cases have been reported to the union.
“It is not easy to divert the product because petroleum tankers loaded were being monitored to their destinations,” he said.
He urged Nigerians to desist from panic buying, adding that the product was now available.
“Nigerians should not result to panic buying now; petrol is available in depots unlike few days ago when the product was not available.
“The product will be in all filling stations in few day’s time, so buy only what you will use and stop hiding petrol in your house, it is dangerous,” he said.
In the meantime, motorists were on queue in the filling stations that were selling petrol in Lagos and Ibadan, even as some petrol stations on the Old Ife Road freely sold at N200 per litre, yesterday.
In the meantime, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Monday said the NNPC and not the Federal Government pays for the fuel subsidy that has emerged with the N171 landing cost as against the official retail price of N145.
Osinbajo spoke with journalists after visiting Oando and Total fuel depots in Apapa area, a day after he also visited stations in the Lekki-Ajah axis of the city.
He said since the NNPC buys the fuel, it bears the cost.
“NNPC is trading in fuel; the Federal Government is not, at the moment, paying for any subsidy. NNPC is trading. If you are buying and selling fuel, you would have to be able to pay for it. So, it’s not a question of government provision for subsidy, the Federal Government, at the moment, isn’t paying any subsidy. And don’t forget that the way that the NNPC trades is that, in many cases, NNPC is actually giving fuel; there is 445, 000 barrels of fuel. So really what you are seeing, in many cases, is more or less an exchange for PMS. So at the moment NNPC is paying the cost”.
Additional report from Nation