By Chineme Okafor
Few days after a major artery in its pipeline networks located at Ije-Ododo, Amuwo-Odofin area of Lagos was vandalised and resulted into a fire outbreak, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has announced the comprehensive restoration of the pipeline to normalcy.
The NNPC also said in a statement yesterday in Abuja, from its acting Group General Manager Public Affairs, Mr. Fidel Pepple, that with this development, pumping of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), otherwise known as petrol has resumed in earnest to depots and tank farms in it’s System 2B, spanning from Atlas-Cove to Ilorin, the Kwara State capital.
The statement assured Nigerians and motorists that with the restoration of the Ije-Ododo and System 2B pipelines, normalcy had been restored in the supply and distribution of petroleum products across the country.
He said: “I can affirm to you that our engineers from the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company Limited (PPMC) have finally fixed the Ije-Ododo pipeline that was ruptured last Monday by activities of pipeline vandals.
“Going forward, the good news for Nigerians is that we have resumed pumping of petroleum products through the pipeline and System 2B is equally working after the restoration of the pipeline.”
Pepple also described media reports that fuel scarcity and queues in some parts of the country may last beyond the new year as mischievious, noting that the corporation still maintains zero tolerance to fuel scarcity and fuel queues in filling stations.
He stated that the recent fuel queues experienced around the country were basically due to the activities of pipeline vandals and closure of a number of filling stations due to the Christmas holidays and not shortage of petroleum products.
According to him, the corporation has product sufficiency that can sustain the country for more than a month just as it is making concerted effort to sustain supply of petrol across every part of the country to ease the movement of people as they travel from one place to the other before and after the New Year.
Pepple also asked petrol marketers in the country to avoid the nefarious diversion of petroleum products to black market operators, adding that stringent punitive actions would be meted out to those found wanting.
He enjoined them to team up with the NNPC to ensure sustained supply and distribution of petroleum products into the New Year, as well as motorists to desist from panic buying, stressing that there is no truth in the on-going rumours that there will be an increase in the pump price of fuel in January 2013.
“The Federal Government has made budgetary provision for fuel subsidy in the 2013 budget which was recently passed by the National Assembly,” Pepple added.