End fuel scarcity by weekend, FG orders

Fuel queue at MRS filling station Airport road Abuja on Thursday

Fuel queue at MRS filling station Airport road Abuja on Thursday

Ibe Kachikwu, the minister of petroleum resources, and Maikanti Baru, group managing director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), have been mandated to clear the fuel queues in Abuja and Lagos by the weekend.

But queues surfaced in most petrol stations in the cities as motorist engaged in panic buying.

Speaking with Daily Trust in Lagos yesterday, DAPPMA executive secretary, Mr Olufemi Adewole, said there was now supply gap from NNPC, forcing independent marketers to rush to private fuel importers for supply.

But majority of filling stations in Lagos and environs were dispensing while scanty queues were noticed in few others. But it appear they have started the strike, as they are not selling fuel.

In Katsina, queues were observed in many filling stations in the metropolis yesterday morning but by late evening, the queues had disappeared.

Okoronkwo said the government could help solve the fuel scarcity and its attendant problems of panic buying by ordering the NNPC to change its channel of distributing the product. "We have said times without number that NNPC has sufficient products to cater for the needs of all consumers", he said.

"Before departing the country, Baru had directed that more truckloads of petroleum products be dispatched to various parts of the country to cushion the effects of excessive demand caused by panic buying".

The NNPC had on Monday stated that there was no plan to increase the prices of petroleum products both at the ex-depot level and pump price ahead of the forthcoming Christmas celebration.

He assured the public that the corporation had enough stock of petroleum products to ensure seamless supply and distribution of products across the country, especially during the Yuletide.

The Chairman of the committee, Senator Kabiru Marafa, told journalists yesterday afternoon that the members would also embark on inspection at service stations across the country.

Marafa said the Senate would not watch some unpatriotic persons put Nigerians through any form of hardship, particularly during the Yuletide. "We at PMB's Oil and Gas Progress commend Baru for the step he has taken", he said.

He said members of the committee would be regrouped into sub-committees to make it possible for them to visit all the states.

Another marketer at the depot who also spoke under the condition of anonymity said there were less activities at the depots due to an inadequate supply of the products by the NNPC. We will not stop at that. NNPC had, on November 30, issued a statement saying there was no plan to increase fuel price at the depot and at filling stations.

"There is an Executive Director in charge of Downstream who oversees the downstream generally".

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