…Raises penal hammer against cheating marketers
Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has declared that it has sufficient stock of the premium motor spirit also called petrol, and called on the people to resist the urge for panic buying of fuel.
The corporation also warned marketers not to engage in products hoarding and diversion saying it has empowered a monitoring team in the Pipeline and Products Marketing Company (PPMC) to sanction companies caught in sharp market practices.
The statement by the corporation’s spokesman, Mr. Ohi Alegbe, came in response to noticeable scarcity of petroleum products in major cities across the nation, including Abuja and Lagos.
Market survey by The UNION yesterday showed that major service centers operated by the major oil marketers in Lagos and Abuja closed to customers as fuel attendants claimed that they ran out of supplies.
However, sources at depots and jetties said that whereas import traffic has slowed down supply situation has not reached panic level.
The onset of scarcity followed spike in fuel demand as last quarter economic and social activities gather heat at a time speculations of fuel price reduction frightened market operators with social unrest.
The fears that motorists might refuse to pay correct fares forced some major marketers to shut down their key stations to limit security risks.
In trying to douse the tension in the domestic market, NNPC declared yesterday that apart from securing the commitment and collaboration of major marketing companies in meeting domestic fuel demands in the high demand high season the domestic pump prices of petrol remains N87 per liter.
The corporation called on members of the public to avoid panic buying of petroleum products, especially petrol, saying it has enough stock of the product to keep the entire country wet for 23 days.
– Sopuruchi Onwuka