The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has compelled private depots with products to give priority to Lagos State in order to end the present scarcity of petroleum in the country.
MrsIjeomaOtti-Onyeri, the Assistant Director, Retail Outlets Monitoring, Downstream Division, DPR gave the order during the inspection of some depots in Lagos.
Otti-Onyeri observed that most of the trucks loaded in all the depots visited were more of outside Lagos.
The assistant director said this had resulted into queue of motorists in many filling stations resulting to scarcity of the product.
“There is panic buying because there is speculation that there will be increased in the pump price of petrol, that is why we have to monitor depots to find out if there is fuel.
“From what we have seen in Obats, Dee Jones, Sahara, Nipco and Aiteo depots, we have observed that all these depots have stock that can last for five to seven days.
“The issue now is for them to concentrate on local distribution than the one going to other states.
“We are all aware that if the scarcity of the product reduces in Lagos, the noise on scarcity of fuel will go.
“The concentration should be in Lagos metropolis,” she said.
She called on marketers who complained of buying at N141 per litre to report with evidence to the department so that the DPR can act on it.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that loading of petrol was going on at the five depots visited.
At Sahara depot, MrSaheedOmotosho, the Operation Officer said the depot had 1.3 million litres of petrol in stock.
Omotosho said the depots had loaded 13 trucks as at the time we visited and promised that they would extend time to to ensure more loading.
At Nipco depot, AlhajiTaofeekLawal, the Head, Corporate Communications of the company said that the company had a stock of 16.6million and loaded about 3.9 million on Tuesday on 98 trucks.
Lawal said that out of the 98 loaded, 28 trucks were for Lagos while 70 were outside.
According to him, 34 trucks have been loaded out of the planned 100 trucks for Wednesday according to official ex-depot price of N133.2 per litre.
He assured the DPR monitoring team that they would concentrate more on local distribution to reduce the scarcity in Lagos.
At Aiteo, the representative of the company, Emmanuel Oguntula said they had stock of 26 million petrol and had loaded 43 trucks of petrol most of which were for outside the state.
He blamed the present scarcity to lack of access road to the depots, adding that tankers spent many days before getting to depot. At Obat and Dee Jones loading of petrol were also on as at the time of visiting the depots.