The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has claimed that marketers should be blamed for the continuing scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also known as petrol in the country.


This even as the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) also on Thursday lamented the sufferings of Nigerians due to the fuel shortage, and called on the Federal Government to explain why the scarcity has persisted regardless of assurances that filling stations will be flooded with products.


NNPC Group Managing Director, Maikanti Baru, who laid the blame on marketers on Thursday, said that they have been hoarding the product and consequently causing the scarcity.


According to Baru, it is sad that the situation is coming despite the fact that NNPC had increased supply of petrol across the country from about 30 million litres to 80 million litres per day.


“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 was said to have made this disclosure in a statement in Abuja, adding that the increase in the product supply became compulsory the moment the current hiccup in fuel supply was noticed a few days back. He said that the measures would make the crisis comes to an end this week.


The NNPC was said to have stated this some moments to 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.


NUPENG had demanded that the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources and NNPC should without any further delay tell Nigerians what actually was wrong.


NUPENG decried sufferings and pains Nigerians are now going through as a result of the persistent and unjustified fuel scarcity.


The union made the call in a statement by its President, Igwe Achese, adding that the scarcity had worsened the sufferings of citizens through increase in transport fares, rising pricing of goods and services as we approach the Christmas festivities.


“We call on the government to quickly address the situation instead of trading blames when the depots are dry. It is a national shame and embarrassment for the citizens to celebrate the Christmas under this kind of atmosphere when Nigeria is the seventh largest producer of crude oil.


“Once again, there is need for the federal government; Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources and the NNPC to tell the nation what is actually happening, as the two unions in the sector are not on strike. We call on the Federal government to direct the appropriate bodies to flood the nation with petroleum products as we enter the year 2018 as stop gap measure.”