- Pockets of petrol queues resurface in Abuja
Chineme Okafor in Abuja
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) thursday said a fresh rupture had been recorded on the Escravos Lagos Pipeline System (ELPS), when an explosion occurred on its section in the Egbokodo-Omadino in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State.
It explained that its Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru, had directed that repair works should be executed immediately on this part of the ELPS, and gas supply to customers hooked on to it be augmented from other supply sources like Oben, Oredo, Sapele, Ughelli and Utorogu.
NNPC noted that the repair works had commenced and would be completed within the day (yesterday).
According to it, ELPS supplies gas to power plants in the country and the West Africa Gas Pipeline System. It was recently affected by a bush fire at Abakila in Ondo State, and supply to power plants were cut off on January 2, 2018.
This also resulted to a collapse of Nigeria’s national electricity grid following the unavailability of the affected power plants with a combined generating capacity of 1,143 megawatts (MW).
Meanwhile, pockets of vehicular queues for petrol were on Thursday seen to be building up again at service stations across the city centre in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, thus raising fears that the scarcity of petrol which residents of the city suffered towards the end of 2017, may have returned.
Though the queues which were noticed to have started building up as from Tuesday night were not as long as what were seen in November and December 2017, when the city was completely locked down, THISDAY however observed that stations within the Wuse, Central Business District (CBD), Kubwa Expressway, and Garki areas of Abuja, had vehicles lined up before them with some lines extending well beyond their entry gates.
As at Wednesday night, the Conoil and Total stations opposite the corporate headquarters of the NNPC had extended queues at their entry gates, while the retail outlet of the NNPC located on the Kashim Ibrahim Way in Wuse 2, had lines of vehicles. All of the stations were busy selling to customers.
Attendants at the Conoil station told our reporter on Wednesday that the queues were usual, especially during the close of work when people made their ways home. But, this continued even on Thursday with the NNPC quickly coming out to state that it has sufficient petrol in its stock to last the country up to 30 days.
The corporation’s Group General Manager, Public Affairs, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, in a statement he sent out, called on Nigerians to shun the practice of panic purchase of petrol.
Ughamadu, explained that his plea was on the heels of the queues noticed in stations in the city.
He said: “The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) wishes to enjoin motorists in Abuja, its environs and other parts of the country not to engage in any panic buying of petroleum products.
“NNPC assures motorists that the corporation has robust stock of PMS, otherwise called petrol, which is sufficient to serve the nation for more than 30 days.”
He also asked motorists to report any marketer selling above N145 per litre of petrol or hoarding the product to the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) which is statutorily empowered to deal with such issues, adding that the DPR has its offices located in all parts of the country.