In a bid to salvage the fuel supply and distribution challenges being witnessed in some parts of the country due to panic buying from motorists, the group managing director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr Maikanti Baru, on Tuesday cut short his trip to London.
This is coming amidst renewed queues at major filling stations around the country.
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria had threatened to stop sales of products, accusing the Nigerian National petroleum corporation of under supplying its members with petrol.
Earlier, the NNPC had announced that there was no plan whatsoever to increase the prices of petroleum products both at the ex-depot level and pump price ahead of the forthcoming yuletide.
Speaking with Daily Trust in Lagos yesterday, DAPPMA executive secretary, Mr Olufemi Adewole, said there was now supply gap from NNPC, forcing independent marketers to rush to private fuel importers for supply.
As at 1p.m. yesterday when THISDAY concluded its round of visits to service stations in Maitama, Wuse, Jabi, along Kubwa Expressway and Nyanya axis, vehicular queues had built up, but the stations were dispensing at the official pump price of N143 to N145 per litre. Sokoto Operations Controller of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Mr. Mohamme Makera, said that the problem would soon ease off. When I said that independent marketers need the product most, I'm talking in relation to numbers of marketers that are members of IPMAN. There is always more demand for refined products for petroleum during winter period in the colder countries, this is what we are experiencing now.
Chairman of the committee, Senator Kabiru Marafa, stated this in a news briefing, shortly after an investigative hearing on the matter in Abuja, on Tuesday.
He said "Immediately the issue came up, we contacted NNPC to know the situation of things and we were told that the rumours were unfounded and that they have written rejoinders to that effect. We at PMB's Oil and Gas Progress commend Baru for the step he has taken", he said. "Even if he cannot make it he can send people that are in good authority to speak on his behalf".