Dr Maikanti Baru, the Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), has revealed that Nigeria lost over 148,533 million litres of petrol during the recent fuel scarcity.
Baru said the NNPC could not track the movement of 4,501 trucks laden with Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) in the course of the fuel crisis that lasted throughout the Christmas and New Year festivities.
He said this while speaking at an investigative public hearing by a Joint Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Petroleum Downstream on Thursday.
“Due to massive diversion, hoarding, panic buying and smuggling, coupled with the information that three Direct Sales Direct Purchase Consortia had rejected October cargoes, there was insinuation of a supply gap,” said Baru.
The NNPC GMD, during his elaborate presentation to the lawmakers, said “insufficient reserve, clearance speed, supply gap, diversion, hoarding, panic buying and smuggling,” were some of the factors responsible for the fuel crisis.
Baru recalled that the NNPC had warehoused 1.9 billion litres of PMS before the crisis, but that the scarcity began when Nigerians started panic-buying the product.
He disclosed that the panic buying saw a daily demand of PMS rising to about 37 million litres. This, he said, the NNPC could not cope with in terms of supply.
Baru disclosed that the NNPC, however, took steps aimed at resolving the crisis.
He said the steps included the “immediate activation of war room, additional imports to increase days sufficiency, 24-hour operations in all NNPC Depots and mega stations”.
The NNPC GMD equally noted that the corporation engaged the media and some stakeholders in the monitoring of the distribution of the product, which he said led to the sealing off of some fuel stations selling above pump price.
He further called on the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) to review the pricing template and landing cost, while urging the the National Assembly to approve outstanding subsidy payments and debts to marketers.