Lagos - The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), has attributed the cause of the ongoing fuel scarcity in Lagos and its environs to distribution challenges.
Mr Feldelis Pepple, acting Group General Manager, Public Affairs Division of the Corporation disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Sunday in a telephone interview.
Pepple said that the country had sufficient petroleum products but had distribution challenges in getting them across to other states.
He said that the just vandalised system 2B Network at Arepo also contributed to the challenges.
``We have sufficient products, but we are having distribution challenges in getting the product to other states and to the final destination of selling.
``The just vandalised system 2B also contributes to the distribution challenges, which makes it difficult to pump products through the network to other states,’’ he said.
NAN reports that Lagos, the commercial capital of the country witnessed its own share of fuel scarcity in major areas.
NAN correspondent who went to some filling stations in Ikeja, Ikorodu, Egbeda, Lagos Island, Mainland and suburbs on Sunday, observed that there was no fuel in those areas.
One of the attendants at the Forte Oil filling station in Onipanu confirmed that the filling station had exhausted its stock by Friday.
NAN reports that black marketers were already having their field day in Ikorodu and selling as high as N150 per litre to motorists
However, NNPC mega stations in Lagos dispensed the product to many vehicles that queued at the stations
Tokunboh Korodo, the South West Zonal Chairman of the NUPENG, said that the scarcity being experienced in Lagos was due to non-availability of fuel in most depots of the state and its environs.
He explained that the non-availability of product was premised on the failure of the Federal Government settle the petroleum marketers claims under the Petroleum Support Fund.
He said that most of the marketers were no longer importing products due to the mounting debt, adding that the Federal Government was yet to provide alternative means of getting the product.
``As I am talking to you, most depot in Lagos and environs are dried up, few of them that have the product are rationing it because of fear of the unknown.
``Depot that used to lift product for 24 hours hardly do so for 6 hours daily because of non availability of products, if care is not taken the whole of Nigeria will soon witness fuel scarcity,’’ he said.
Efforts to get the Executive Secretary of Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), Mr Obafemi Lawore proved abortive to comment on the Federal government’s indebtedness to his members.
But a sources close to the marketers told NAN that they have stopped importing fuel due to the huge debts government owed the marketers