A former chairman of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Tokunbo Korodo, has urged the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to increase the supply of petrol to depots to cushion the effect of fuel scarcity that Nigerians are going through presently.
Korodo, who made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, said that most of the depots in Lagos were empty.
According to him, out of over 75 depots in Lagos, only four or five are being used by NNPC to distribute to filling stations nationwide.
“Most of these depots are located at Apapa and petroleum tankers spend close to two weeks on the queue along Ijora-Orile roads before accessing the tank farms.
“The two NNPC depots in Ejigbo, Lagos and Mosinmi in Ogun state, hardly have any supply. Most of the loading is going to NNPC retail outlet.
“If it is true that the corporation has increased the supply from 30 million to 80 million litres per day, as claimed by NNPC, where is the petroleum and why do motorists still queue in filling stations for a long period?
“At present, there is little or nothing in most private depots in Apapa and NNPC, so the major supplier of the product should urgently increase the supply to the depots,” he said.
Korodo attributed the present scarcity to refusal of major oil marketers to import petroleum due to the landing cost of petrol, which had increased to N170 per litre, as a result of increase in crude oil price.
The former chairman said that NNPC used to import 55 per cent, while oil majors cater for 30 per cent and independent marketers take charge of remaining 15 per cent.
NAN reports that the scarcity of petrol had brought hardship on many Nigerians, as many cannot travel to celebrate the yuletide with their family in their villages.
NAN also reports that many filling station have increased the pump price of petrol to N250 per litre while the black market are selling five litres of petrol between N2,500 and N3,000.
NAN also reports that transport fare in Lagos metropolis has also increased by 300 per cent.