The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Thursday, disclosed that it has more than doubled the supply of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, also known as petrol, across the country from about 30 million litres to 80 million litres per day.

This was even as the NNPC declared that it can now account for every barrel of crude oil sold by the country, as it has achieved 98 per cent automation of all transactions involving the supply, marketing and sale of the various grades and blends of Nigeria’s crude oil across the world.

Commenting on the fuel crisis, the NNPC, in a statement in Abuja, disclosed that the hike in the product supply became necessary after the current hiccup in fuel supply was noticed few days back, adding that these measures would ensure that the fuel crisis comes to an end this week.

According to the statement, Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mr. Maikanti Baru, disclosed this shortly before the signing ceremony of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Corporation and the Benue State Government on the Agasha-Guma Bio-fuels Projects, in Abuja.

The biofuels project is expected to create one million direct and indirect jobs for Nigerians on completion and would also produce about 84 million litres of fuel ethanol annually. The NNPC said that it plans to mobilize to site by the first quarter of 2018.

Baru blamed the current fuel crisis on the rumour about a planned increase in the price of petrol, which made some unscrupulous marketers, wanting to cash in on the situation, to suddenly start hoarding products.

He said, “But we swiftly swung into action by doubling our supply nationwide. At the time the rumour started, we had about 30 day sufficiency. The normal daily supply to the nation is 700 trucks, equaling about 27 million to 30 million litres per day.”

Baru noted that the NNPC had enough products sufficiency that will last up to 30 days, adding that at least a billion litre petrol laden cargoes were heading to Nigeria shores at the end of December, which would return the country to a 30-day-plus sufficiency.

Furthermore, speaking on the automation of its crude oil sales processes, Group General Manager, Crude Oil Marketing Division of the NNPC, Mr. Mele Kyari, stated that the automation exercise which would be concluded in 2018 had enabled the corporation to achieve an end-to-end monitoring of every barrel of crude oil sold in the country.

“Today at a click of a button we can tell you how much crude oil is sold, at what price, who bought it and where it has gone to among others,” he explained.

He stated that the projection was to operate a complete paperless crude oil data management regime in line with the ongoing transformation of the processes which had witnessed sweeping reforms since 2015.

He listed the reforms to include the open bid process of customer selection for lifting and purchase of Nigeria’s crude oil grades; emplacement of efficient crude for product import processes, leading to savings of $1 billion in one year as well as the introduction of improved pricing system, which has evolved into a robust and auditable pricing mechanism.

He disclosed that the automation had enabled the country to eliminate the perennial disagreement with its major stakeholder, the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) on actual production and lifting figures.

He also added that the series of reforms had led to the harmonization of Nigeria’s crude oil data and lifting information, providing access to major internationally recognized reporting agencies like Platts and Argus Media to achieve real time reporting of Nigeria’s crude oil transactions.

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