The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has promised Nigerians that the ongoing scarcity of premium motor spirit (PMS), better known as petrol, will end within the next few days.
The corporation said it was doing everything possible to end the hardship that Nigerians have been facing, but it was “assuming a near 100% importation obligation without the necessary logistics put in place” after numerous challenges in the oil sector forced “most oil majors to completely pull out from the importation business”.
NNPC said the current crude oil supply can only meet half of the 45 million litres needed across the country on a daily basis.
“We genuinely empathize with the attendant sufferings and wish to reassure that we are focused and committed to bringing an end to this situation within the next few days and we kindly call on all Nigerians to partner with us on this journey to allowing the whole process of change come into fruition,” Garba Deen Muhammed, spokesman of the corporation, said in a statement.
“Changes usually take time, effort and a lot of focus. We understand the plight of Nigerians and the impact on the overall economy.
“NNPC is burdened with the obligation to guarantee almost 100% in the national supply, since the domestic crude oil supply (445,000 bbls/d) can only guarantee about 50% of the 45 million litres national requirement for petrol; we have secured presidential approval to take additional crude oil volume to guarantee national supply of petrol.”
Muhammed said the current administration inherited a huge catalog of issues and problems in the downstream sector.
He listed some of the problems as subsidy payments to oil marketers, corruption and inefficiencies in the supply and distribution chain, incessant vandalism of pipelines and refineries poor performance.
“A combination of these issues resulted in most oil majors completely pulling out from the importation business and NNPC assuming a near 100% importation obligation without the necessary logistics put in place,” the statement read.
“In line with the change agenda of this administration, NNPC management initiated and made progress on various key solutions to providing a lasting end to these issues.
“The unpaid arrears arising from the subsidy regime had necessitated most oil marketers to stop all forms of involvement in petroleum products imports. Thankfully, with the firm support of Mr. President and the national assembly, we greatly reduced this debt burden and since January, 1st 2016 we have been able to eliminate subsidy payments by managing prices at current levels through price modulation. This has resulted to savings of over 100bn naira monthly for the nation.
“Nationwide petroleum supply and distribution have been ramped up to all states to ensure product availability in the country. The current supply to states is in excess of the normal consumption especially in the five major consuming cities.”