By Adewole Kehinde
Since his assumption of office as the GMD of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mallam Mele Kyari and his management team has made well, NNPC’s promise to ensure Nigerians enjoy a hitch-free celebration to date.
It will be recalled that on October 22, 2021, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Kano alerted the Federal Government over an imminent fuel crisis in the country following the decision by some unpatriotic private depot owners to unilaterally raise the price of the product.
He said some of the private Depot owners have increased the price of the commodity from N148 per litre to between N153 and N155 per litre since Friday last week.
Even though the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) alert caused minor queues in some major cities of the country but thanks to the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited for coming out immediately by advising the public not to engage in panic buying of Premium Motor Spirit, commonly known as petrol.
The NNPC also assured Nigerians that there is no any plan by government to cause an increase in the pump price of petroleum.
A statement on Monday by Garba-Deen Muhammad, Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, NNPC, in Abuja, said that the NNPC had over 1.7 billion litres of petrol in stock and more of the product is expected to arrive into the country daily over the coming weeks and months.
The NNPC said with over 1.7 billion litres of petrol in stock, there is no need to entertain any fear of scarcity of petrol throughout the festive season and beyond.
It is on record that the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) also assured Nigerians that the Federal Government is not increasing the pump price of petroleum.
I must commend the NNPC Limited for engaging all stakeholders to ensure smooth supply and distribution of products to every part of the country during the festive season and beyond.
On Tuesday, I visited some filling stations along the Umaru Musa Yar-Adua Express Way, Lugbe, and the Kubwa Expressway, where I observed free entry and exits of motorists from filling stations.
I also spoke to some motorists and commuters who commended the leadership of the NNPC for putting a working strategy in place to avert fuel queues as we approach the festive season.
Majority of them commended the NNPC Limited for improved monitoring of sales across the length of the country.
There is no doubt that the NNPC Limited has been doing well handling the fuel subsidy. With the rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna Refineries, combine with Dangote Refinery, fuel scarcity will become the thing of the past in the country.
It is also a good development that the government and the NNPC Limited have shown proactiveness in removing the elements that acted as bottlenecks in the oil distribution chain.
Since his assumption of office, Mallam Mele Kyari has done well in ensuring that the issues of queues are settled. I want him and his management team to sustain anything that is responsible for this great development.
There is no doubt that we have not witnessed hike in fuel prices in recent times even though the Federal Government and Labours are still meeting on removal of subsidy; I am very sure that the NNPC Limited will sustain the tempo as it is one of the ways to foster socio-economic development.
I have observed that some private depot owners are trying to sabotage the Federal Government by unilaterally increasing their prices despite the fact that the government has not raised the fuel pump price.
I am happy that the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria has agreed to collaborate with the NNPC Limited at investigating some of the private Depot owners who has jerked up the price of petroleum products despite the fact that it is only the Federal Government that imports fuel into the country and therefore the only institution to determine the price of petroleum products.
On a final note, I must commend the NNPC Limited for having the masses at heart as the Company has advised 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.
Adewole Kehinde is a Public Affairs Analyst based in Abuja, He can be reached via 08166240846, 08123608662. E-mail: email@example.com