In spite of the 1.824 billion of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) supplied by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, queues by motorists remained unabated particularly in Abuja and some other northern states.

The NNPC on Sunday denied claims that it had reviewed downward the ex-coastal, ex-depot and the NNPC Retail prices for petrol. It therefore described the claims as fake news, in a series of tweets via its official Twitter handle.

The figures obtained from the company showed that between February 14 and March 13, 2022, a total of 1.824 billion litres of petrol has been release in a bid to keep the country wet with petrol. But the queues in filling stations, which were triggered by the imports of adulterated fuel in January this year, refused to disappear and had persisted for about two months. The presence of black marketers who sell petrol in jerrycans is currently a normal sight in Abuja, as some filling stations in the capital city now dispense PMS far above the approved price of N162-N165/litre.

Data from the NNPC on petrol supply indicated that a total of 387.59 million litres of PMS was distributed from February 14 to 20, 2022, in a bid to bridge the petrol supply gap.

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The NNPC also stated that it evacuated 381.88 million litres of petrol between February 21 to 26, 2022, adding that from February 28 and March 6, 2022, it supplied a total of 538 million litres of PMS.

In its most recent petrol supply data for March 7 to 13, the company stated that over 70 per cent of all the evacuation took place at the top 20 high loading depots, as other loading depots evacuated less than 30 per cent

The top 20 high load-out depots, according to NNPC, include Pinnacle-Lekki, Matrix, Nipco, A.A. Rano, Aiteo, Ardova, 11 Plc, Fradro, AYM Shafa, Prudent, MRS, among others. Other depots that evacuated less than 30 per cent include Integrated Oil, Pinnacle, Virgin Forest Energy Limited, Nepal, Conoil, Petrostar, MRS Plc, among others.

The NNPC has been the sole importer of petrol into Nigeria for about four years running. It had ensured that the commodity remained available nationwide, being the supplier of last resort.

Despite efforts by the firm to keep the country wet with petrol, the queues in the nation’s capital have refused to clear, as well as in some other locations across the country.

The few filling stations along the Zuba-Kubwa expressway that dispensed petrol on Sunday, such as A.A Rano, Nipco and the NNPC, had lengthy queues. The queues in the two filling stations, Conoil and Total, located directly opposite the headquarters of NNPC in Abuja, have continued to be greeted with queues since January, as the queues persisted on Sunday.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, and the Group Managing Director, NNPC, Mele Kyari, had repeatedly stated that efforts were ongoing to clear the queues nationwide.

Also, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority had assured citizens in Nigeria that the queues would be cleared following the imports of billions of litres of petrol by NNPC.

Their promises have, however, not materialised in full yet.

The NNPC said it remained focused and determined to reposition itself to provide value to its shareholders while meeting its statutory obligation as a provider of energy security for Nigeria.