By Chineme Okafor in Abuja
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) yesterday said some of its key strategic interventions have resulted to a significant drop in the price of diesel by about 42 per cent across the nation.
It explained in a statement from its Group General Manager, Public Affairs, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, in Abuja, that this downward price trend has been observed by it over the last six months.
NNPC stated that in the first quarter (Q1) of 2017, the retail prices of diesel which is one of the deregulated petroleum products in the country was N300 per litre in major demand centres, but that prices were now within a bandwidth of N175 and N200 per litre.
“Such unpleasant situation placed a huge burden on truck drivers, who need the product for transporting their vehicles; the nation’s manufacturing sector which requires it to run its operations; as well as on the masses who need it for household power generation.
“However, following strategic intervention efforts by the NNPC towards sustained improvement in the supply of the diesel, the product’s retail prices as at the end of May 2017 ranged from N175 to N200 across the country (a significant price drop of about 42 per cent), while ex-depot prices also dropped to between N135 and N155,” said NNPC in the statement.
NNPC said some of its strategic interventions in this regard included improving the supply of diesel and remodelling of the product distribution to address sufficiency issues across the country.
It stated: “Since January this year, we have worked very hard with relevant stakeholders to improve distribution from refinery depots, by implementing a robust loading programme.”
It also said it was able to resuscitate its critical pipelines and depots in places such as Atlas Cove-Mosimi; Port-Harcourt Refinery-Aba; and Kaduna Refinery-Kano, in its quest to improve the distribution of diesel.
Efforts, it added, are also ongoing to revamp and commission other critical pipelines across the country.
The corporation noted that another key intervention that has enhanced supply and distribution of diesel in the country was its robust engagement with critical downstream stakeholders where salient issues were raised and duly addressed.
These stakeholders it added include the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN); Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO); Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD); as well as Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN).
It added that as a result of consistent positive engagement with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), it has equally extended the expansion of foreign exchange intervention scheme for petrol to accommodate diesel and aviation fuel.
NNPC thus said with its plans, it would continue to ensure seamless supply and distribution of diesel and other petroleum products across the country.