The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited and other regulatory agencies have received a one week ultimatum from the House of Representatives to end the lingering fuel scarcity.
The ultimatum was given after a motion of urgent public importance by Sa’idu Musa Abdullahi (APC, Niger) was adopted at plenary on Tuesday, December 13.
Abdullahi who noted that Nigerians have been subjected to untold hardships caused by the lingering petrol scarcity, further disclosed that the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) advanced several excuses to justify the fuel scarcity.
“Firstly, when the scarcity reared its ugly head at the peak of the rainy season in October this year, NMDPRA said the fuel scarcity in Abuja and other northern states was caused by rainfall which submerged the greater part of Lokoja including the highway leading to Abuja, a development that grounded all vehicular movements along that route.
“Soon after floods/rains receded in Lokoja and the petrol scarcity continued, the President of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) said the situation persisted because of the supply gap created by the blockade in Lokoja. The IPMAN affirmed that there was enough product in the depots and that the lingering scarcity was only caused by the break in supply of the product.
“When the scarcity continued and all the excuses advanced by the stakeholders watered down, the National Operations Controller of IPMAN advanced another reason and argued that the scarcity is because of an unsteady supply of the products.
“Intelligence reports on current fuel scarcity gathered by our security agencies indicated that there is a deliberate plan by some oil marketers to derail the effort of the government in the distribution of fuel in the country by hoarding the petroleum products, thereby creating artificial scarcity all over the country”.
Asides from disclosing that some independent marketers have enough petroleum products selling at unregulated prices, Abdullahi also added that most of these filling stations are selling fuel at over N300 per litre.
“It is observed with dismay that those who are gaining from this artificial fuel scarcity appear to be smiling home as a result of this ugly development and this has the potency to provoke innocent Nigerians against the government.
“The inability of the regulators of the petroleum sector to end this artificial scarcity of petroleum products forced the Department of State Security Services to issue an ultimatum to the NNPC, and oil marketers to end the artificial scarcity within 48-hours”.
Following the adoption of the motion, the lawmakers asked the NNPC Ltd to end the artificial scarcity within the next one week in order to ease the suffering of Nigerians.
The Nigerian Midstream Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission was asked to collaborate with the Nigerian Police Force and DSS to ensure that fuel is sold at the regulated price and in all retail outlets.
The House Committees on Petroleum Resources (Downstream) and Legislative Compliance was also asked to ensure compliance.
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