By Akinwande Soji-Ojo
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said “low loadouts” at depots are “very likely” to be responsible for the queues observed at petrol stations in Abuja and environs.
Over the weekend, queues had surfaced at filling stations in parts of Abuja and some neigbouring states.
Speaking on the development in a statement issued on Sunday evening, Garba Deen Muhammad, NNPC spokesman, said purchases by residents who recently returned after the public holidays also contributed to the queues.
Loadouts involve the process of moving petroleum product from depots to filling stations.
The NNPC, however, said efforts are ongoing to address the situation.
“The NNPC Ltd notes the sudden appearance of fuel queues in parts of Abuja. This is very likely due to low loadouts at depots which usually happen during long public holidays, in this case, the Sallah celebrations.
“Another contributing factor to the sudden appearances of queues is the increased fuel purchases which is also usual with returning residents of the FCT from the public holidays.
“NNPC and the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), in conjunction with our marketing partners, have taken necessary measures to ramp up loadouts from all depots.
“We assure all residents of the FCT, and indeed all Nigerians, that we have ample local supplies and national stock in excess of 2.5 billion liters, with sufficiency of more than 43 days.
“The NNPC Ltd hereby advises motorists not to engage in panic buying as supplies are adequate as will become increasingly evident in the coming days,” the statement read.