The premises of Capital Oil and Gas Limited which was shut down by the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON), after an order of a Lagos High Court which directed it to freeze all the assets belonging to the oil marketing company over N48.014billion indebtedness to it, will on Monday be re-open for operations.
While confirming the re-opening to newsmen Sunday night, AMCON’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Mustapha Chike Obi, said the organisation would move its officials into the depot to oversee the finances of the company.
Investigation revealed that the decision to re-open Capital Oil was aimed at curbing the current fuel crisis in the country, which worsened over the past few days due to the closure of the depot.
This came as investigation revealed at the weekend that the current fuel crisis being witnessed across the country despite the claims by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that it had supplied sufficient product that would meet Nigeria’s fuel consumption has justified government’s campaign for full deregulation of the downstream petroleum sector.
Business and Maritime West Africa checks revealed that the closure of the company’s 196 million litres -capacity storage tank often used by the NNPC for products storage has hampered products distribution across the country, adding to the worsening fuel crisis.
An industry stakeholder, who spoke to newsmen last night on the lingering fuel scarcity, posited that libralisation of the downstream petroleum sector was central to the reform of the oil and gas industry as it remained the only solution to incessant scarcity of petroleum products in the country.
The source said in the event of the NNPC, not being able to supply the market with enough petrol, due to government’s delay in payment of its subsidy claims, the supply chain would be completely crippled.
While noting that consumers would enjoy fairer deal in a deregulated market, the source urged government to intensify discussions with the various groups who had been campaigning against full deregulation, with a view to making them understand that deregulation is in the best interest of every Nigerian.
However investigations by BMWA at the weekend revealed that most petrol stations did not open for business. There were long queues of vehicles in the few that had products.
Some of the buyers complained of product under dispensing at most filling stations, while others alleged extortion by filling station attendants before they were allowed to buy fuel.
It was also observed by BMWA that most filling stations in the south east , south south, south west, Lagos and Abuja were dispensing fuel between 100 and 120 per litre which is higher and against the stipulated amount approved by the Federal Government.