By Abdulwaheed Usamah,
Following spring of queues at filling stations across Lagos after fear that there may be fuel scarcity, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), has said that there was need for private depots with petroleum products to give priority to Lagos State in term of distribution to arrest unforeseen hardship.
It indicated that off number of trucks conveying petroleum from depots were those traveling to farther destination and nearby states.
The Assistant Director, Retail Outlets Monitoring, Downstream Division of DPR, Ijeoma Otti-Onyeri, said most of the trucks that loaded petrol in all the depots visited were going outside Lagos State and that said that the situation had led to scarcity of the product and prolong queues of motorists in many filling stations.
Passing directive during inspection depots in Lagos, Otti-Onyeri stated that owners of depots in the state may need to give priority to motorists and others in Lagos
According to him, there is panic buying because there is speculation that there will be increased in the pump price of petrol, that is why we are monitoring depots to find out those that have fuel.
“From Obats, Dee Jones, Sahara, NIPCO and Aiteo Depots, we observed that they all have stock that can last for five to seven days. The issue now is for them to concentrate on local distribution instead of giving priority to the trucks that are going to other states.
“We are all aware that if scarcity of the product reduces in Lagos, the noise about scarcity of fuel will go down. The concentration should be in Lagos Metropolis,” she said.
Otti-Onyeri called on marketers who complained of buying the product at N141 per litre to report to the department with evidence.
Meanwhile, the Operation Officer, , Sahara Depot, Saheed Omotosho, disclosed that the depot had 1.3 million litres of petrol in stock and that the facility had loaded 13 trucks as at the time of the visit, promising that they would extend loading time.
At NIPCO Depot, the Head, Corporate Communications, Taofeek Lawal, also indicated that the company has 16.6 million litres of petrol in stock and that 98 trucks were loaded with about 3.9 million litres on Tuesday.
According to him, of the 98 trucks loaded, 28 trucks were meant for Lagos, while 70 were for outside Lagos.
He assured DPR monitoring team that NIPCO would concentrate more on local distribution to reduce the scarcity in Lagos.
At Aiteo, the representative of the company, Emmanuel Oguntula, said that 26 million litres of petrol were available, adding that 43 trucks had loaded most of which were going outside the state.
Oguntula blamed the scarcity on lack of access road to the depots, adding that tankers spent many days before getting to depot.