By Emmanuel Addeh
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Friday assured Nigerians that there will be no disruption in the supply of petrol during the current lockdown in some parts of the country.
The corporation maintained that its retail outlets are stocked with sufficient petroleum products, with the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) depots holding its products in various states of the federation.
A release by the corporation’s Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Dr. Kennie Obateru, in Abuja, noted that the NNPC Retail Ltd’s products are daily being trucked to stations strategically located across Nigeria, urging consumers not to engage in panic buying.
NNPC also commended the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) for their sacrifice in ferrying petroleum products across the nook and cranny of the country, stating that the tanker drivers’ service during the lockdown has ensured the smooth distribution of petroleum products during the restriction period.
It quoted the Managing Director of the NNPC Retail Ltd, Billy Okoye, as saying that NNPC Retail Ltd’s filling stations, numbering more than 600 across the country, are to remain operational throughout the period of the lockdown to meet the energy needs of Nigerians.
“All NNPC retail outlets are wet with sufficient petroleum products, ready to serve the public. The company’s retail outlets are stocked with sufficient petroleum products, with PPMC depots holding its products in various states of the federation.
“The NNPC Retail Ltd’s products are daily being trucked to stations strategically located across Nigeria. We urge consumers not to engage in panic buying.
“Our major responsibility is to ensure that there is fuel supply in our stations. We have enough products at all our storage tanks and at our depots; we also have a large quantity of products in transit to our stations. Nigerians don’t need to panic,” the corporation said.
The NNPC management thanked the various state governors for allowing petroleum tankers to crisscross their states despite the movement restriction order and commended the security agencies, Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and all other service providers in the downstream value chain for their support.
“We commend Nigerians for their understanding during this period, assuring that the NNPC retail stations would remain open to avoid any shock in the supply and distribution of petroleum products across the country,” the national oil group said.
Meanwhile, the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) has said that following President Muhammadu Buhari’s charge in his national broadcast of March 29, 2020 to all agencies, the organisation has developed a programme of action to energise many underserved, but important places across the country.
A statement by Ahmad Salihijo, Managing Director of the REA, Friday said that the programme of action for direct intervention and emergency provision of Solar Home Systems (SHS) and solar mini-grid solutions in Primary Health Centres, COVID-19 Isolation Centres and NCDC reference laboratories across the country had begun.
He added that the agency was working with the World Bank and African Development Bank (AfDB) on accelerating grant disbursement to qualifying developers of Solar Home Systems (SHS) and solar mini-grid projects under the Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP).
According to him, the REA was also engaging the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) through the Federal Ministry of Power for inclusion of energy access companies and off-grid power developers under the COVID-19 intervention programme of the Bank.
“REA is mindful of the impact of reliable electricity access especially at this difficult time and will continue to engage with stakeholders and development partners to complement the efforts of our partners.
“These include the Presidential Task Force, Federal Ministry of Health, the NCDC, Economic Sustainability Committee and our health workers/first responders who risk their lives daily to ensure that the pandemic is contained and managed effectively,” it said.