Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, said it has started the arrest and prosecution of erring marketers and fuel hawkers across the country. In a statement in Abuja, Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the NNPC, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, said that this was part of efforts to sanitise the fuel supply and distribution system to eliminate the queues. Ughamadu said the NNPC Special Task Force on Filling Stations Monitoring had made series of arrests including two filling station managers who diverted 66,000 litres of petrol and six illegal hawkers of petrol in Abuja.
He said the two managers of Azman filling stations in Nyanya and Kuje, two suburbs of Abuja, were arrested after close monitoring by the team for diverting trucks of petrol meant for their stations to unknown destinations. He said, “They have been handed over to the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps for prosecution. In addition to prosecution, the filling stations would pay a N250 fine for each litre of petrol diverted. The Task Force has also arrested six persons in the Central Business District, Abuja, for hawking petrol in jerry-cans. Three of the arrested persons – Samila Umar, Atlahim Abdullahi and Bashir Sani – were charged and prosecuted at the Area Court, Gudu, where Justice Sidi Bello sentenced them to two-month imprisonment or a N2,000 fine which they promptly paid. The other three who were arrested yesterday (Tuesday) are expected to be charged today (Wednesday).”
NNPC, said that it deployed 484 truckloads of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, to Abuja in five days to tackle the perpetual crisis currently ravaging Abuja and other states in the northern region. This was even as fuel scarcity worsened in Abuja, with motorists spending long hours at petrol station before they could get the commodity to purchase. According to a schedule of total truck out to Abuja and environs obtained from the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, the trucks were deployed between February 1 and February 5, 2018. The report said that 89 trucks, 118 trucks, 100 trucks, 70 trucks and 107 trucks carrying Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, also known as petrol was dispatched to Abuja and neighbouring states from February 1 to 5, 2018 respectively.
Specifically, from loading data for February 5, the report stated that a total 5.368 million litres of the petrol was lifted from depots across the country, with 87 trucks comprising 3.77 million litres of the commodity lifted from the Lagos depot, while 26 trucks comprising 1.05 million litres was lifted from the Mosimi depot. In addition, nine trucks bearing 334,010 litres of petrol left the Port Harcourt depot, while Ibadan depot supplied 206,000 litres of the commodity for onwards distribution to Abuja and environs. Consequently, 3.36 million litres of petrol borne by 77 trucks were delivered to Abuja; 30 trucks comprising 1.25 million litres of petrol were supplied to cities around Abuja; while Kogi, Kaduna, Minna, Nasarawa and Kebbi states received 179,000 litres, 33,000 litres, 235,010 litres and 317,000 litres respectively.
The DPR also said that it has commenced a strategic monitoring of the country’s fuel supply situation across the country and also rolled out other initiatives, which it said are part of new measures to end the fuel crisis currently ravaging the country.
Zonal Operations Controller, Northern Zone, DPR, Mr. Abba Misau, said the monitoring would be conducted on a daily basis, with the aim of ensuring that petrol stations get the product and that they disburse it to motorists. He noted that the DPR will no longer allow hoarding of fuel by marketers under the guise of keeping deadstock and reserving the commodity for special customers.