The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Group Managing Director Dr. Maikanti Baru says the corporation has doubled the daily supply of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), otherwise called petrol, from 700 trucks (about 27 million – 30 million) litres per day supply to 80 million litres per day since the scarcity in the supply chain was noticed.

Despite the intervention, scarcity of petrol continued in several cities across the nation yesterday, with travelling motorists having recourse to buy from black marketers, who sold the products in jerry cans.

Baru spoke before the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the corporation and Benue State on the Agasha-Guma Bio-fuels Projects in Abuja.

The corporation, in a statement, said the NNPC GMD attributed the hiccups in the supply of PMS to rumours about purported planned increase in the price of petrol.

He stated that some marketers, in their quest to cash in on the situation, suddenly started hoarding products.

“But we swiftly swung into action by doubling our supply nationwide. At the time the rumour started, we had about 30-day sufficiency,” he said.

He added that the NNPC has enough products sufficiency that will last up to 30 days.

Baru said at least a billion litre petrol laden-cargoes were heading to Nigeria shores at the end of this month, which, he noted, will return the country to a 30-day-plus sufficiency.

The NNPC boss, who expressed joy at PENGASSAN’s call-off of its planned strike, called on motorists not to engage in panic buying as the corporation has more than enough products for domestic consumption.

Baru, who assured that the fuel situation would soon fizzle out this week, warned marketers against hoarding.

He hailed NNPC’s sister agencies, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), for their support in helping NNPC tackle the menace of hoarding by filling stations.

Signing the MoU on the Bio-fuels Project with the state government, Baru said the project would provide employment for youths in the state.

Benue State Deputy Governor Benson Abounu said the state was happy with the signing of the MoU, which, he said, was a watershed in the nation’s quest to find alternative sources of energy.

He pledged the support of the Benue citizens to the project, adding that various host communities would give their 100 per cent support for its success.

The Agasha-Guma bio-fuels project aims at developing Integrated Sugarcane Plantation and Fuel-Ethanol/Sugar/Power Plant Complex in Benue State through a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV).

Expected to create one million direct and indirect jobs on completion, the project will also produce about 84 million litres of fuel ethanol annually.

The statement added the NNPC plans to mobilise to site by First Quarter of 2018.

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