“Orders Ministry, NNPC To Correct Anomaly
Against the backdrop of embarrassment caused by the lingering fuel scarcity in Nigeria resulting to long queues at fuel stations in various states including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) has ordered the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to halt the scarcity.
Ironically, since assumption of office in May 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari has been doubling as the Minister of Petroleum Resources while Ibe Kachikwu was appointed the Minister of state after doubling for a while as the Group Managing Director of NNPC.
Although, the ruling political party which is All Progressives Congress (APC) administration had increased fuel pump price per litre from N87 to N145, the government has been boasting that there had never been fuel scarcity since the inception of Buhari led administration.
This is despite the agonies the citizens had to go through in paying the high price ever experienced in Nigeria as an oil producing country.
Given the embarrassing situation of fuel scarcity and long queues of motorists at the fuel stations, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said that the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, could not attend the post- FEC briefing because of an urgent appointment.
Although, he did not disclose the nature of the appointment while briefing State House Correspondents after FEC meeting presided by Vice President Yemi Osinbanjo, but there were indications that the appointment is not unrelated with the prevailing fuel scarcity in Nigeria in the last three days.
Further, Mohammed said Kachikwu had given FEC assurances that there was no cause for alarm as there is enough fuel to last till January, 2018.
He allayed fears of possible hike of fuel pump price per litre, saying there is no intention of government to increase the fuel pump price.
It would be recalled that in a bid to salvage the fuel supply and distribution challenges witnessed in some parts of the country due to what NNPC described as “panic buying by motorists”, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Kacalla Baru, Tuesday, cut short his trip to London.
Dr. Baru, who was billed to receive the Forbes Oil & Gas Man of the Year Award 2017 in the British Capital on Tuesday, flew back home to attend to what he described as a “matter of urgent national importance.”
Speaking on the development shortly before his departure back to the country, Baru called on Nigerians to stop panic buying as the Corporation was doing everything within its reach to address the situation.
“For the umpteenth time, I wish to call on all Nigerians to stop panic buying. We have said times without number that NNPC has sufficient products to cater for the needs of all consumers,” Baru stated.
Before leaving for London, the GMD had directed that more truckload of petroleum products be dispatched to various parts of the country to cushion the effects of excessive demand caused by panic buying.
Earlier Monday, NNPC informed Nigerians that there was no plan whatsoever to increase the prices of petroleum products both at the ex-depot level and pump price ahead of the forthcoming yuletide.
The NNPC in a release said that the ex-depot petrol price of N133.38 per litre and the pump price of N143/N145 per litre have not changed, noting that the Corporation has enough stock of fuel to ensure seamless supply and distribution of products across the country.
While assuring that the Corporation has the full commitment of all downstream stakeholders including petroleum marketers and industry unions to cooperate in achieving zero fuel scarcity this season and beyond, the NNPC enjoined motorists and other users of petroleum products to disregard trending rumours of an impending fuel price hike as reported in some news platforms.
The Corporation also noted that its downstream subsidiary companies namely the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) and NNPC Retail Limited are fully geared up to ensure that motorists enjoy uninterrupted access to petrol throughout the nation during the yuletide period and beyond.