• Takes over Petrol Stations
Ahead of the planned deregulation of the downstream sector, strong indications have emerged that the Nigerian National Petroleum Cooperation (NNPC) may have struck a deal with some independent oil marketing companies to use their filling stations to as retail outlets so as to get the essential products to consumers all over the country.
According to industry sources, the arrangement will see the NNPC taking over about 70 per cent of the filling stations in the country as a measure of ensuring product availability in all nooks and crannies of the country and also to stem the tide of scarcity that may arise subsequent to the deregulation of the oil sector.
A reliable source who hinted Shipping Position Weekly stated that while some of these stations are already on lease to the NNPC for a period of time after which the owners will take back, some of them have actually been sold to the corporation.
This decision was said to have been considered by the NNPC following the recent artificial scarcity allegedly instigated by major marketers of petroleum product in anticipation of commencement of deregulation on November 1, 2009.
Apart from the alliance with independent marketers, our source also added that government (through NNPC) has struck another arrangement independent depots owners whose facilities would be used for distribution, rather than relying on the use of the traditional pipelines which has increasingly proven to be unreliable because of vandalisation.
Shipping Position Weekly sources hinted that the recent scarcity was an eye opener to the NNPC that unless it took charge of distribution, the proposed deregulation would embarrass the government as it has become clearer that the major marketers could indeed sabotage the policy.
“Massive importation alone can no solve the problems that may come up, but NNPC must ensure that the imported products get to the consumers and this can only be achieved through the numerous filling stations that are owned by independent marketers”, an industry source explained last week.