By Seriki Adinoyi in Jos
The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has allayed fears of Nigerians, especially Plateau citizens that there might be scarcity of fuel during the yuletide season.
According to the DPR, there is about 30 million litres of fuel in stock at the Jos depot alone, just like in some other strategic depots across the country.
Addressing journalists after going round to monitor the sales of the product in filling stations across the Jos metropolis, Operations Controller of DPR Jos office, Mr. Jerome Agada said: “As we approach the yuletide we want to sustain the normalcy at filling stations particularly in Plateau state where we’ve passed through some flash of crisis in the past.”
He added: “The department is out visiting retail outlets and today we’ve gone round a number of stations to ensure that their operational efficiency in terms of pump deliveries and functionality of their facilities comply with standard regulations; and out of the stations visited, six of them have committed sanctionable offences.”
The stations, according to him included Mobil Filling Station, opposite Plateau State Polytechnic, Jos Campus, where pumps were sealed for under-dispensing; AI’ Olabah Oil Co Nigeria Limited and Tonimas Filling Stations, Anglo-Jos – they were either under dispensing or their pump nozzles were malfunctioning.
Similarly, at Total Filling station, Dadin-Kowa, Jos, and NNPC Mega Filling Station, Secretariat Junction, their pumps were also sealed for under-dispensing.
Agada said: “They will be expected to pay the appropriate fines after which their sealed pumps will be unsealed,” adding that DPR will sustain the tempo of the surveillance through the Christmas period into the New Year.
Advising the affected stations to quickly attend to the issues that led to sealing off their pumps, the controller warned them, especially the major marketers, to desist from such sharp practices that could attract sanctions from DPR.
He also assured that there was no need for apprehension and panic buying since there were about 16 trucks of fuel coming into Plateau state on daily basis.
He added: “These strategic depots that store PMS can supply fuel to make up for any gap as we approach Christmas season, and as at the end of October, we had about 30 million litres of PMS in the Jos depot.
“NNPC has also assured that there is over 1.9 billion litres of PMS across the country to cater for any shortage that may arise for any reason.”
Ports Managers Decry Lack of Adequate Facilities
The Nigerian Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) Area Office Managers including the Onitsha, Warri and Onitsha rivers’ port managers have lamented the lack of functional vehicles, inadequate staff and conflicts with sister agencies as their major constrains in their operations.
They disclosed these constraints to NIWA’s Managing Director, Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora, when he visited the area offices, as part of his familiarisation tour of NIWA facilities.
At the Onitsha Area Office, the Area Manager, Mrs. Uchi Amadi, said the office in a bid to boost and diversify its revenue base adopted public-private partnership to develop and industrialise its floodable plains right of way as well as the utilisation of island along the waterways for recreation, agriculture and cattle ranching.
She, however, said the major challenges in the area office was inadequate staff, non-functional vehicles, challenges from sister agencies such as the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development over jurisdiction and the effort of the Authority at recovering some NIWA properties illegally occupied or annexed.
At the Onitsha River Port complex, the port manager, Mr. Baba Spencer, explained to the managing director that since the inception of the River Port, the mode of operations has strictly been on port related activities, that is, on the use of port facilities given as slipway and the use of the port water front.
The port manager said the major challenge in the area was security.
He explained that the collapse of the perimeter fence by the port slipway and the leasing to M & E dredging services as dumpsites highly exposed the area to security risk.
He further called for the reinforcement of the perimeter fence, maintenance of the port equipment, rehabilitation of the dilapidated fire services station and the allocation of operational vehicle which the port does not have at the moment.
At the Warri Area Office, the Managing Director was received by the Area Manager, Tammuno Fiberesima, who briefed him on the activities of the area office which included berthing services, loading and off-loading services, rent of space and warehouse amongst others.
The Area Manager said the Dockyard services, that is the slipway was undergoing rehabilitation.
According to Fiberesima, the major challenges facing the area include lack of functional vehicles, lack of functional boats for revenue drive and general patrol and also lack of adequate staff and training.
In his reaction to all the requests, Mamora urged the officers to put in their best for the growth of NIWA.
He said the authority would look into the requests based on merit and availability of funds so as to meet up their official obligations.
He urged all the staff to rededicate themselves at their place of work, just as he assured them that NIWA would continue to support them.