By Ejiofor Alike and Hammed Shittu
Long queues of vehicles, which resurfaced at filling stations in Lagos State at the weekend, have persisted, following tightening supply by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and few private marketers.
This came as the Chairman, Senate Committee on Ecology and Environment, Dr. Bukola Saraki, at weekend called for an urgent stakeholders’ summit to resolve the problems surrounding the oil subsidy regime in order to put an end to the current fuel scarcity being experienced in some parts of the country.
The former governor who first raised the issue of fuel regime at the floor of the Senate said it was high time the stakeholders met to address the issue once and for all.
THISDAY gathered that the situation had led to an increase in the ex-depot price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly called petrol from the N87.66 officially recommended by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) to between N92.50 and N94.50.
Consequently, the official pump price in some filling stations was hiked from N97 to N120 at the weekend.
Some officials of the private Oil Marketing and Trading (OM&T) companies, who spoke to THISDAY at the weekend, attributed the hike in prices to the function of demand and supply.
“It is a function of demand and supply. The demand outstrips supply because everything revolves around one supplier – the NNPC,” said one of the marketers.
Investigation showed that as at last night, only one cargo brought in by the NNPC on Friday was discharging at Petroleum Wharf (PWA) in the whole of Apapa Jetty.
Apapa Jetty comprises Bulk Oil Jetty, North Oil Jetty (NOJ) and Petroleum Wharf (PWA).
It was gathered last night that only the NNPC was discharging a cargo of petrol at PWA, as Oando Plc brought in one cargo of Dual Purpose Kerosene (DPK), which was being discharged at North Oil Jetty.
According to investigation, a cargo of PMS of about 35,000Metric Tonnes imported by NIPCO Plc finished discharging yesterday evening at the Bulk Oil Jetty.
A market source told THISDAY that the fuel supply situation would have been worse but for the vessel brought in by NIPCO.