By Yetunde Bada
Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, the Group General Manager, Public Affairs Division of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), has said the corporation crashed the price of diesel by 42 per cent.
In a statement in Abuja on Sunday, Ughamadu said diesel also known as Automotive Gas Oil (AGO), had a huge downslide over the last six months, following key strategic interventions by NNPC.
“In the first quarter of 2017, retail prices of AGO, which is one of the deregulated products, shot to an all-time high of N300 per litre in major demand centres across the country.
“Such unpleasant situation placed a huge burden on truck drivers, who need the product for transporting their vehicles; and the nation’s manufacturing sector, which requires it to run its operations.
“It also affected the masses, who need it for household power generation.”
He explained that following strategic intervention by NNPC in the supply of diesel, the product’s retail prices as at the end of May ranged from N175 to N200 across the country (a significant price drop of about 42 per cent).
“Ex-depot prices also dropped to between N135 and N155,” Ughamadu said.
He explained that some of the corporation’s strategic interventions include improving the supply of AGO and remodelling of the product distribution to address sufficiency issues across the country.
“Since January this year, we have worked very hard with relevant stakeholders to improve distribution from refinery depots, by implementing a robust loading programme.
“The Corporation was able to resuscitate its critical pipelines and depots in places such as Atlas Cove-Mosimi, Port-Harcourt Refinery-Aba and Kaduna Refinery – Kano.
“Efforts are also on-going to revamp and commission other critical pipelines across the country,” he said.
The spokesman noted that another key intervention that enhanced supply and distribution of diesel was the corporation’s “robust engagement” with critical downstream stakeholders where salient issues were raised and duly addressed.
“These stakeholders include Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) and the Independent Petroleum Marketers.
“Furthermore, as a result of consistent positive engagement with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), NNPC equally extended the expansion of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) Foreign Exchange Intervention Scheme to accommodate Diesel and Aviation Fuel.
“The general public is hereby assured that the corporation wil continue to ensure seamless supply and distribution of diesel and other petroleum products across the country,” Ughamadu said. (NAN)