9th June, 2011
To end the prevailing acute shortage of kerosene across the country, three vessels laden with a combined volume of 30,000 metric tonnes of Dual Purpose Kerosene, DPK arrived Nigerian waters early this morning.
The ships berth at the Apapa Port, Lagos and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, has began distributing the commodity to major petroleum marketers including Oando, Conoil, Mobil, AP, and Total.
Scarcity experienced country-wide over the last one week has seen kerosene, a major cooking fuel for millions of Nigerians, selling for up to N350, far from the official pump price of N50.
After a tour around the vessels this afternoon, the Executive Director, Marketing, Pipelines and Product Marketing Company,PPMC, Mr. Farouk Ahmed, said 12 million litres of the imported kerosene will be given to marketers daily, more than the average daily national demand of eight million litres.
The surplus, Ahmed said, is meant to quickly end the acute shortage that has been witnessed in recent weeks, adding that the government would monitor the distribution to guard against diversion.
“NNPC, DPR and NUPENG will be working round clock to ensure the product gets to the end users,” assured the PPMC official.
Also on the tour, the NNPC spokesperson, Dr. Levi Ajuonuma, said they are flooding the market with the product “in order to force down the price to the official price of N50 and end the suffering of millions of average Nigerians who depend on the product”.
The President of NUPENG, Mr. Achese Igwe, who witnessed the arrival of the imported kerosene, praised the government for the intervention.
“It’s gladdening that the NNPC has shown commitment to end the suffering of the masses, which is unwarranted in the first place,” Igwe remarked.
But he warned those who may want to divert or hoard the product not to incur the wrath of the union.
“Distribution is a key issue; and we are going to closely monitor the process and if any of the major marketers defaults, we will embark on strike action,” threatened the NUPENG boss.
By Tokunbo Olajide