Chineme Okafor in Abuja
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on TuesdayÂ said it would continue to supply petroleum products to all parts of Nigeria despite challenges in the downstream petroleum sector.
According to a statement in Abuja, the corporationâ€™s Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru, stated this at the end of a combined three editions of the annual general meetings of its downstream subsidiaries, the Nigerian Products Marketing Company (NPMC) and the Nigerian Pipelines and Storage Company (NPSC).
The statement was signed by NNPCâ€™s Group General Manager, Public Affairs, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu. It quoted Baru to have said the two companies have done well with their operations under the circumstances in which they found themselves.
He noted that amid upheavals in products pricing and the intrigues among players in the industry, the NPMC and NPSC have ensured an unimpeded petroleum products supply in the country.
For a while now, the NNPC has remained the sole importer and supplier of petroleum products in the country, particularly petrol. This development has been supported by other marketersâ€™ challenges with getting foreign exchange to embark on products importation, as well as reported arrears of subsidy debts owed the marketers by the government which they claim has impeded their capacities to trade.
Baru however, said in the statement: â€œThe NPMC and NPSC are the sole vehicles through which the NNPC is currently satisfying its obligation of being the supplier of last resort to the nation. We have ensured that we sustain the steady supply of petroleum products across the country and we are doing this onerous task with integrity.â€
He further explained that the splitting of Pipelines and Products Marketing Company Limited (PPMC) into NPMC and NPSC was to commercialise the operations of the company for the better.
According to him, the federal government and the NNPC had put in place strategies to engage various host communities to stem incidences of pipeline infractions. This efforts, he added has begun to yield positive results.
The statement also noted that external auditors of the companies, Messrs PricewaterhouseCoopers, gave them a clean bill of health, stressing that their financial statement and operations complied with international best practices.
NNPC also stated that the recent strategic intervention it initiated led to a 42 per cent fall in the price of diesel in the country. It added that the reported downward trend has remained in place across the country.
It said it has also taken steps to resuscitate some of its critical pipelines and depots such as the Atlas Cove – Mosimi Depot Pipeline; Port Harcourt Refinery â€“ Aba Depot Pipeline; Kaduna â€“ Kano Pipeline; and the Kano Depot which it said have enhanced efficiency in the distribution of diesel.
NNPC maintained that efforts were ongoing to revamp and re-commission other critical pipelines and depots across the country.