Nationwide Fuel Shortage May Linger For Two Weeks

Nationwide Fuel Shortage May Linger For Two Weeks

The nationwide fuel shortage, which started about a week ago, may linger for at least two more weeks, as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation waits for security clearance to repair the damaged point on the System 2B pipeline at Arepo in Ogun State.

Nationwide Fuel Shortage May Linger For Two Weeks

Sources in the industry told our correspondents on Thursday that the repair which might begin next week could last at least seven days.

One of the sources added that the fuel supply shortage could only end after the repair of the line

The System 2B pipeline moves about 11 million litres of fuel per day, almost one-third of national daily consumption. It pumps petrol from Atlas Cove Offshore depot, Lagos to Satellite depot in Ejigbo, Lagos; Mosimi depot, Ogun State; Ibadan depot, Oyo State; Ilorin depot,Kwara State; and Ore depot, Ondo State.

But an NNPC spokesman, Dr. Omar Ibrahim, told one of our correspondents on Thursday, that the corporation hoped to be able to move men and materials to the point for the repair work in a couple of days if security people gave the green light.

He, however, was not specific on the time the repair could start.

Farouk said, “We are working with the Police to ensure security in the place before and after repairs. You know the place is notorious for pipeline vandalism. It will be very insensitive of us to send more people to Arepo when we have not fully confirmed the security situation there.”

He added that as at Wednesday night, the NNPC had agreed that 200 tankers should load product from Lagos depots , so that more products would be moved.

“Currently, we are supplying 6.6 million litres per day from Lagos against 11 million litres per day, which pass through the System 2B pipeline. ” he added.

The NNPC and PPMC have not made public the identity of the three members of staff who lost their lives to vandals in the process of repairing the pipeline. However, one of our correspondents learnt that the murdered workers were a deputy manager and two senior engineers from Mosimi depot, near Sagamu, Ogun State.

It was also learnt that the failure to recover the corpses of the workers made it difficult for the NNPC management to order any of its workers to go into the troubled area.

The spokesman for the PPMC, Mr. Nasir Imodagbe, confirmed that the bodies of the deceased workers had yet to be recovered. He, however, added that the company was ready to send people to repair the pipeline as soon as security was assured.

He said, “As we speak, system 2B is still damaged. There is no way we can repair the system except we have security. We are ready to go and fix the problem as soon as security is assured. “You are aware that vandals had engaged security agencies at Arepo in the past.

Imodagbe said in the interim, efforts had been made to bridge fuel supply through tankers.

While the scarcity is gradually easing off in Lagos, reports from Abuja said it worsened on Thursday with long queues of vehicles seen in filling stations in the city.

Black market operators sold 10 litres of fuel for between N2,500 and N5,000.

Our correspondents reported that some motorists queued for between five to eight hours before they could buy petrol.

At Total filling station opposite the headquarters of the NNPC, some security operatives took advantage of the situation by making brisk business due to the desperation of motorists.

Some of the motorists, who bribed the security officials with between N500 and N1,000, were given direct access into the filling station, while those who could not afford the amount were asked to join the long queue.





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