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Fuel stations to operate longer hours to aid PMS supply

The NNPC Ltd. said fuel queues in the FCT and parts of the country were as a result of disruption of ship-to-ship.

Fuel stations to operate longer hours to aid PMS supply.

The NNPC Ltd. says the turnaround period of PMS trucking is also elongated to ease the situation being witnessed.

The Executive Vice President, Downstream, Dapo Segun, NNPC Ltd. said this on Monday in Abuja during a joint inspection of stations by the firm and the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) officials.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the NNPC Ltd. and the NMDPRA embarked on a joint monitoring of the supply and distribution of fuel stations in the FCT and across the country to ensure that queues disappear.

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The NNPC Ltd. had said that fuel queues in the FCT and parts of the country were as a result of disruption of ship-to-ship (STS) transfer of fuel between Mother Vessels and Daughter Vessels resulting from recent thunderstorms.

It said adverse weather conditions; including rainstorms and lightning, had also affected berthing at jetties, truck load-outs, and transportation of products to filling stations, disrupting station supply logistics.

Speaking during the inspection, Segun said there was a gap in the ship-to-shore discharge of PMS which he described as a volatile liquid, adding that during thunderstorms it could not be discharged rather it had to suspend ship-to-shore movement.

“This also affected the loading of trucks at the depot because of safety reasons, so we have to suspend all that during thunderstorms and that’s why you see this tightness.

“Though we have a challenge over the bad portions of motorways which deteriorated due to rains and flooding across the country, we will ensure that we are loading out all through the weekend and that we are mobilising trucks.

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“We are getting fuel stations to run for longer hours and we are getting marketers to collaborate and share stocks, rather than have a station with more trucks, they can release those trucks to other stations for circulation,’’ he said.

Ogbugo Ukoha, Executive Director, Distribution Systems, Storage and Retailing Infrastructure, NMDPRA, said the tightness in Abuja and parts of Lagos arose from the inclement weather which affected operations offshore and routes trucks ply.

When asked of its effort to stop hoarding and the nefarious activities of black-marketers, Ukoha said its officials were on the ground going through the stations and depots to make sure that there was no hoarding.

“Due to the tightness in supply, there may be elements who will try to take advantage of that. We assure Nigerians to go about their businesses and purchase the volume they need without panic,’’ he said.

On any plan to increase fuel pump price, Ukoha said there was no intention or any anticipated plan to increase pump price, adding that the two organisations would continue to collaborate to ensure energy security.

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On this background, he said, the authority had done its regulation on national strategic stock and framework, adding that it was at the threshold of operationalising the framework.

“Again the sensitivity on the pump price is another matter, once those national strategic stocks are in place the logistic issues we have will be mitigated to a large extent and stabilise both supply and prices,” Ukoha added.

NAN reports that the team inspected fuel stations in the FCT, including the NNPC Ltd. Retail Outlet at Katampe and the AP fuel station located at Ibrahim Way, Garki 2, which have long queues.

The stations’ managers also confirmed the availability of enough stock, adding that the stations’ pumps dispensed accurately and relied on constant energy to dispense fuel to motorists.

Motorists on ground also appealed to the government to find lasting solutions and expressed mixed feelings as some have spent longer time queuing for fuel while some did not waste time before their turns.

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