Thursday 26 November 2015

Senate gives Petroleum Minister and NNPC 2-week ultimatum to end fuel scarcity

Fuel scarcity
The Senate Committee on Petroleum Downstream has given the Minister of State for Petroleum and the NNPC two weeks to end petrol scarcity in the country.

The committee handed down this directive at a meeting with officials of the Ministry of Petroleum, NNPC and agencies in the petroleum sector.

For nearly three weeks, there have been long queues at different petrol stations across the country; a situation that has defied solutions by previous administrations and has again reared its head a few months into the present government.

The heads of the agencies explained the reason for the problem in the petroleum downstream sector which they say have made petrol scarcity a recurring problem in the country.

The problems which the head of petroleum agencies identified as being responsible for the recurring problem of fuel scarcity are not new. They are the same problems which the agencies identify almost every time they have appeared before the Senate in the past few years.

The Managing Director of the PPMC, Mrs Esther Nnamdi-Ogbue, highlighted issues with petroleum marketers, pipeline vandalism, sharp practices at depots and diversion of fuel.

Members of the committee sought to find out the real issues including the outstanding amount owed petroleum marketers, noting that if the present administration does not address these issues head on, the problem of petrol scarcity might continue for a very long time.

The head of the Senate committee, Senator Uche Ekwunife, then directed the officials of the Ministry and the NNPC to find ways to put an end to the fuel crisis with the next two weeks.
“Nigerians want to see the immediate end to this fuel scarcity and also the uniformity of the price of the product across the country.
“As a committee, our target is that scarcity and discrepancies in price must stop and it must be done.
“Therefore, we are mandating the Minister, the Permanent Secretary and other relevant agencies in the sector, that fuel scarcity must stop in the next two weeks.

“Petrol must be sold at the uniform price of N87 per litre everywhere in the country,” she said.

Credit: Channels

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