The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) has assured the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of its support to guarantee uninterrupted supply of petroleum products for the logistics supplies for this year’s general elections.
The group chief executive officer (GCEO) of NNPCL, Mallam Mele Kyari, gave the assurance on Tuesday when he hosted a delegation of INEC management led by its chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu. He acknowledged that logistics was a major component of electoral duties and that the state oil company has always supported the INEC.
“Needless to say that there was no formal framework for that, and there were no even exact formal requests for this. All the same, we are always conscious of the necessity to provide support to INEC whenever elections take place.
“It is not just an honour to NNPC. It is also a challenge for us, to come into the equation in making sure that we have a stable political system in our country and we’ll be happy to contribute to this.
“Much as even you are going to pay for the product that we’re going to deliver to you. There will be no difficulty doing this Mr chairman, we have present we are everywhere. But where we are not, we will provide commercial conversation between the commission and other marketing companies so that when you need this product, you will have it.
“Also, in addition to this, we are the only company that has floating mega stations in the country. We will also look at this and see how we can make it available for the purpose of the Marine Operations in the riverine areas of our country,” Kyari said.
He also assured that the current fuel scarcity across the country was being addressed through extreme measures to contain the current distribution challenges and that within the next week, there will be significant relief if not the elimination of the current situation.
Speaking earlier, the INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said that the Nigerian election is huge and complex, as it is the biggest logistical operation that Nigeria undertakes every four years.
The INEC boss said that 93,469,008 registered voters are expected to elect a President, 28 State governors, and 1,462 legislators comprising 109 Senators, 360 members of the House of Representatives, and 993 members of State Houses of Assembly.
“The commission is mobilising about 100,000 vehicles and 4,000 boats for the deployment of personnel and materials to 176,846 polling units (PUs) spread across 8,809 Registration Areas (or electoral Wards) in 774 Local Government Areas nationwide.
“Earlier this morning, we had a meeting with the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW). We are working with them as well as the Marine Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) to mobilise the vehicles and boats needed for the massive land and riverine movement of men and materials for the election. We are determined to overcome the perennial challenge of the late commencement of polls on grounds of logistics.
“However, this objective cannot be fully accomplished without the guaranteed supply of petroleum products to facilitate the movement of vehicles and boats. Hence, in our effort to mobilise every national institution to give Nigerians a pleasant experience on Election Day.
“The commission believes that the NNPC, as our national oil company, is one of the critical institutions that can facilitate the attainment of our objective. We are aware of the efforts of the NNPC to ease the current situation in earnest,” he said.
Yakubu, therefore, urged the NNPCL management to grant INEC the usage of NNPCL land and floating mega stations nationwide to service its election duty vehicles and boats.