By Ononye VC
The Federal Government, through the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, said on Wednesday that at least six vessels ordered by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited had arrived in the country.
The Chief Executive Officer, NMDPRA, Farouk Ahmed, said the vessels came in with 300 million litres of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) meant to close the gap created by the contaminated petrol withdrawn from depots and filling stations.
The regulator had on Tuesday said the limited quantity of PMS with methanol quantities above Nigeria’s specification was discovered in the supply chain.
Ahmed, ahead of a meeting with industry stakeholders in Lagos on Wednesday, said the regulator had been able to work with the technical team that included the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, the NNPC and the Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria to address the issue.
He said, “Today, I am happy to say that loading has been going on in most of the depots because we have been able to identify, isolate and quarantine the limited amount of gasoline that was affected by the methanol volume that was discovered.
“We have vessels that have arrived in the country recently. At least six arrived in the last few days ordered by the NNPC, carrying a total volume of close to 300 million litres, just to close the gap created by those vessels we have withdrawn from the system.”
According to him, the country currently has petrol volume in-store that can last for 20 days.
He, however, said, “Our ideal days of sufficiency is 30 but because of the concern that made us withdraw the vessels which created the gap in our 30 days sufficiency.
“Again, with aggressive importation by the NNPC, this will be closed in a few days, according to the data we got from the NNPC’s import programme.
“Loading is also ongoing in most of the depots that have confirmed spec products; so, there is no need for panic. Hopefully, by tomorrow, Lagos will be cleared.”
According to Ahmed, there is a 9,000MT vessel that is currently about to discharge at Apapa port to major marketers including OVH, TotalEnergies, 11 Plc, Conoil and Ardova Plc.
“So, once these vessels complete discharging and start pushing the products to marketers, I believe Lagos will be cleared by Friday. We have got that assurance from the marketers.
“Also, most of these vessels will also be providing volumes to most of the members of the key members of DAPPMAN,” Ahmed added.