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Don’t expect scarcity of fuel, says DPR

The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has told consumers of the Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMS) in Rivers State and other neighbouring states not to expect the scarcity of the product despite the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic.

The department said the zone currently had 107m litres of PMS in eight of its depots in Port Harcourt and was expecting more product in a few days.

It warned consumers against engaging in panic buying or purchasing fuel above the current price regime of N125 per liter explaining that most filling stations had adjusted to the new price.

The Port Harcourt zonal Head of Downstream, Anthony Oyom, who was accompanied by Mohammed Akwa, an engineer in charge of the zone’s projects, depots and jetties, spoke in Port Harcourt while monitoring the compliance of depots and filling stations to the new price of PMS.

The surveillance showed that the depots where the Nigerian National Petroleum Products (NNPC) stored imported fuel had enough of the product.

For instance depots at TSL Logistics had about 24m litres; Conoil had 5million and was expecting 27million in a few days; Stock-Gap, 22m litres; Liquid Bulk, 42m litres among others.

Operators of the depots said they were trucking out the product at the new regulated depot price of N113 insisting that they were not lacking fuel at their facilities.

Oyom said: “We went out to do surveillance to all the depots within this axis and also some filling stations to confirm that the depots are selling at the new depot price and also the retail outlets are selling at the new pump price that the minister gave the directive on March 18, 2020.

“We checked six depots and in all of them we saw that they had enough products. Currently we have over 100m liters of stock in Port Harcourt. We are expecting millions of litres in a few days. At the end of this week, we should have at least 150 million liters stored in Port Harcourt.

“We have enough fuel for Rivers State and the immediate environment. Also, retail outlets are complying with the new pump directive. There is absolutely no reason for anybody to engage in panic buying.

“We know that the Coronavirus is real, it has entered Nigeria. About 42 cases confirmed now and some companies have said we should work from home. People will be at home and they will need more fuel.

“What we have can last us for about a month even if we don’t import again. But we are still expecting some vessels which we issued clearance on. We have enough stock. Filling stations are complying with the new directive. So. There is no reason to panic”.

Oyom said tough time awaited filling stations selling fuel above the new regulated price adding that the department would beam its searchlight on them through continuous surveillance.

He added: “We started with the depots to ensure that the sources are selling at the right price. Now that we have confirmed that sources are selling at the right price we are going to be strictly monitor retail outlets because they don’t have any reason at all not to implement the new price”.