By Idowu Abdullahi,
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has assured Nigerians that the corporation would continue to be monitoring distribution of petroleum across the nation, particularly during lockdown order, so as to avoid unnecessary tension that could lead to panic buying and hoarding of fuel in the country.
It explained that the hitch-free distribution to over six hundred government-owned filling stations across the country despite the lock-down had necessitated commendation of members of Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) for their commitment to ensuring nationwide distribution of petroleum products is achieved in the country.
The Managing Director, NNPC Retail, Billy Okoye, said that tanker drivers’ selfless service in ferrying petroleum products across nook and cranny of Nigeria during the lockdown had ensured sufficient petroleum products for Nigerians during the restriction period.
Okoye, in a statement on Friday, through the Corporation’s Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Kennie Obateru, assured that filling stations will remain operational throughout the period of the lockdown to meet the energy needs of Nigerians as the stakeholder battles the global pandemic.
“The company’s retail outlets are stocked with sufficient petroleum products, with PPMC depots holding its products in various states of the federation. Also the NNPC Retail Ltd’s products are daily being trucked to stations strategically located across Nigeria, which literally meant that there is no need for Nigerians to engage in panic buying.
“Our major responsibility is to ensure that there is a fuel supply in our stations. We have enough products at all our storage tanks and at our depots; we also have a large number of products in transit to our stations. Nigerians don’t need to panic,” the statement said.
Okoye, on behalf of NNPC Management, thanked state governors for allowing petroleum tankers to crisscross their states despite the movement restriction order, while also commending the security agencies, Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD), Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and all other service providers in the downstream value chain for their support as the country strive to contain the virus.
He also commended Nigerians for their understanding during the lockdown, assuring that the NNPC Retail stations would remain open to avoid any hitch in the supply and distribution of petroleum products across the country.
Furthermore, he thanked the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mele Kyari, for his strategic leadership, adding that stakeholders in the downstream sector are ready to collaborate to ensure Nigeria is wet with petroleum products at all times.