The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), Abuja Zonal Office, has begun a surveillance of filling stations, to ensure petroleum dealers did not hoard or divert products.
The Authority made this known on Friday, in Abuja, following its ongoing intensified surveillance of some filling stations in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), due to an initial artificial scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) witnessed in the territory.
The authority had, on Nov. 17 and Nov. 18, carried out similar surveillance on filling stations in FCT and its environs.
Recall that there were queues at many filling stations in the FCT and suburbs, between Sunday and Thursday, following artificial scarcity of petroleum supply in many stations.
The authority noted that its intensified surveillance, led by Mr Umar Mohammed, Team Lead, Retail Outlet Monitoring (ROM), NMDPRA, Abuja Zonal Office, had led to the disappearance of queues from all filling stations within Abuja and its environs.
The filling stations visited by the authority included Eterna, Wuse II; Ap, Ardova Plc., IBB Way, Maitama; Oando, Wuse, Zone four and Ap Plc, Buhari Way, Garki, among others.
It aimed at ensuring that available petrol products in storage tanks were sold and that all pumps were utilised in dispensing the products at the stations.
The focus of the surveillance had been to ensure availability of the products and that marketers equally adhered to approved and regulated pump price of petroleum.
Similarly, it sought to also ensure that products were delivered in the stations, in accordance with the lifting manifest from the depots.
Speaking following the surveillance, Mohammed expressed satisfaction from the findings of its joint surveillance team.
Mohammed noted that petroleum products, dispatched to all the stations the team visited, arrived there destinations and were discharged, while all the stations had sufficient quantity.
The Team Lead also disclosed that part of the problem was caused by entry into the Yuletide season, which caused a slight increase in demand due to many activities that made the supply not to be enough as it was increasing geometrically.
He noted that important steps were taken, including a multilateral stakeholders’ meeting at which some terms were agreed and Nigerian Pipeline Storage Company Ltd also agreed to sustain current supply.
Mohammed assured that it would sustain its depot monitoring and surveillance at the filling stations during the Yuletide and beyond, adding that anyone caught hoarding would face the full wrath of the law.
Mr Abdulahi Zakari, Team Leader of Eterna filling station, Wuse II, noted that the shortage of petroleum product from the Depot in Lagos state, was a big challenge which affected the dispensation of the product.
“The road is also in a very poor condition, truck drivers experience difficulty while transporting the product from Lagos to Abuja. Some spend one week to 10 days on the road. But now, petrol is available and there is no queue,’’ he said.
Mr Zakariya Umar, Assistant General Manager, Ap Ardora Plc., IBB Way, Maitama, who expressed satisfaction over the normalcy that had returned to the filling stations, blamed the initial queues on the shortage of supply from the depots in Lagos and Suleja, Niger state.