The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) says the country will not experience petrol scarcity in December and beyond, as it has made adequate arrangements for supply.
Umar Ajia, the Chief Financial Officer of NNPC ltd, said this in Abuja on Monday when he appeared before an ad hoc committee of the House of Representatives on the fuel subsidy regime in Nigeria.
Ajia said that the company has put in place adequate measures to prevent petrol scarcity in the country, even after the 2023 general election.
“We have extended our Direct Sales Direct Purchase (DSDP) contract by six months, to sustain the supply of PMS throughout the country.
“The DSDP contract in reality ended in August and it is a very dangerous period to begin to retender for that because we are facing the winter, these are the difficult “embers months’’ that we normally avoid fuel scarcity.
“You know the scarcity in Nigeria is associated with the Christmas period so if you now tender, the tendering process will take one or two months.
“So, what the board approved is to extend the contract for six months such that we have passed the winter and we have passed the election, otherwise we could have problems during the election,’’ he said.
The Chairman of the Committee, Rep. Ibrahim Al- Mustapha (APC-Sokoto) said that there was a need for an upward review of petrol prices in Nigeria, in line with the global price.
Al-Mustapha said that petrol was being sold for N536 per liter in the Niger Republic, N577 per liter in Mali, and N389 per liter in the Benin Republic.
Ajia, however, said that petrol subsidised for Nigerians was being smuggled to neighbouring countries saying that figures of petrol consumed in the does not necessarily represent the true picture.
He said that as a result of the porous borders, subsidised petrol meant to be consumed by Nigerians go as far as Mali and other neighbourimg countries.
“If you have N5 million, you can cross the borders with trucks laden with petrol and that is the bitter truth, we have porous borders; yes we have customs but I do not know,” he said.
The committee went into a closed-door session to further deliberate on the matter.