By Yetunde Bada
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has pledged that despite challenges in the downstream petroleum sector, petroleum products would continue to be available in all parts of the country.
The NNPC Group Managing Director, Dr Maikanti Baru, made the pledge on Tuesday at the end of the 24th, 25th and 26th Annual General Meeting of its downstream subsidiaries, the Nigerian Products Marketing Company (NPMC) and the Nigerian Pipelines and Storage Company (NPSC) in Abuja.
In a statement by Mr Ndu Ughamadu, the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Baru said the two companies had fared well given the circumstances in which they found themselves.
He said amidst upheavals in products pricing and the intrigues among players in the industry, the companies ensured an unimpeded petroleum products supply into the market.
”The NPMC and NPSC are the sole vehicles through which the NNPC is currently satisfying its obligation of being the supplier of last resort to the nation.
”We have ensured that we sustain the steady supply of petroleum products across the country and we are doing this onerous task with integrity,” Baru said.
He explained that the splitting of Pipelines and Products Marketing Company Limited (PPMC) into NPMC and NPSC was to commercialise the operations of the company for the better.
He assured that the Federal Government and the NNPC had put in place strategies to engage members of various host communities to stem incidences of pipeline infractions, adding that the efforts were yielding positive results.
He further said the companies’ external auditors, Messrs PricewaterHouseCoopers and others, gave the NNPC subsidiary companies a clean bill of health, stressing that their financial statement and operations complied with international best practices.
It would be recalled that the recent strategic intervention of NNPC led to a 42 per cent fall in the price of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) popularly called diesel and has continued to sustain the downward trend across the country.
The Corporation had also taken steps to resuscitate some of its critical pipelines and depots such as the Atlas Cove – Mosimi Depot Pipeline, Port Harcourt Refinery – Aba Depot Pipeline, Kaduna – Kano Pipeline and the Kano Depot which have enhanced efficiency in the distribution of AGO.
Baru said efforts were ongoing to revamp and re-commission other critical pipelines and depots across the country.
He said other areas of intervention that also enhanced supply and distribution of diesel was the Corporation’s robust engagement with critical downstream stakeholders such as Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners, Petroleum Tanker Drivers and Independent Petroleum Marketers. (NAN)