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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Fuel scarcity : Capital Oil breaks ranks, to release 70million litres

Long queue of jerry cans at a petrol station as fuel scarcity bites harder, yesterday. Photo: Joe Akintola, Photo Editor.
LAGOS — Capital Oil and Gas Industries Limited said it was releasing, last night, about 13 million litres, approximately 400 TRUCKS, of petroleum products including premium motor spirit, popularly called petrol, to ease the scourge of the endemic fuel scarcity that Nigeria had been plunged into.

The company will release a total of 70 million litres in the coming days.
The move has, therefore, broken the ranks of oil marketers and depot operators, who have refused to import any more products until their outstanding subsidy claims of over N200 billion is paid by the Federal Government.

The marketers have now become jittery over the development because they are now being exposed as saboteurs, seeing they have enough fuel stock in their depots but have refused to dispense them, even as they are losing billions of Naira daily.

Sequel to the general elections, the country had been experiencing sporadic fuel shortages, until it snowballed into a complete shutdown in the recent weeks, thereby paralysing almost all social and economic ACTIVITIES in the country.

Speaking, yesterday, about the sudden release of the product at the Capital Oil Depot in Apapa, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Ifeanyi Ubah, told journalists that the move was meant to reduce the pain Nigerians are experiencing on ACCOUNT of the scarcity.

It’s sabotage
Ubah described the current crisis as sabotage, saying: “We are constrained at this point and have decided that two wrongs cannot make a right. We will not be part of this sabotage against our fatherland. Therefore, from this minute, we shall take the risk of opening our facilities and commence swift loading and distribution of products nationwide.”

He also gave the assurance that once the current stock is exhausted, there are vessels laden with petroleum products at the jetty waiting to berth.
He said: “Our facility has the capacity to load over 13 million litres before dawn. This comes to approximately 400 TRUCKS of petroleum products.”

Urges other marketers to follow suit
Expressing the hope that normalcy will soon return with the resumption of socio-economic ACTIVITIES, Ubah also called “on other petroleum marketers to follow suit and save our nation from this impending economic and social crisis.”

He added that the current situation called for patriotism and service, which is why the Capital Oil truck park, port and depot reception facilities have been OPENED and have commenced loading of products and ordered to move overnight to every state of the federation.

He recalled that operators were informed of the shutdown of loading ACTIVITIES from the depots via a text message on Saturday May 16, which became effective on Monday, May 18

He noted that since then Nigerians have suffered immense hardship, with petrol now selling at an all-time high of between N500 and N1000 per litre depending on location and outlet.

Marketers and black market operators have been at their best in sharp practices, while the industry regulator, the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, is overwhelmed by it all and helpless to sanction any one for infractions.”

Against this backdrop, the Capital Oil boss argued that the way out of the current predicament is the total deregulation of the downstream petroleum sector.

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