Fuel Scarcity: FG Meets With Major Oil Marketers

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He wanted to know the truth and to ensure that going forward this problem will be solved once and for all.

Kachikwu, however, said the government has put various measures in place to address the issue of scarcity within the 18 months.

He said three solutions are being considered.

The Minister, who appeared before the National Assembly Joint Committees on Petroleum, also added that its a shame that Nigeria can not refine its crude oil after 40 years of activities in the downstream.

"They (government representatives) have also assured us that the refineries are coming on stream with installed capacities".

Both agencies which are under the supervision of Kachikwu had even stated that some marketers in some parts of the country had been caught hoarding the products, and that they would be sanctioned.

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"In what I might call an emergency before the work that we are doing on the refineries that would be finished sometime in 2019", Kachikwu said.

He said, "When we went out today, we discovered some stations have actually diverted products and they take products to filling stations, discharge one or two compartments in the presence of the officials of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, and thereafter take the products somewhere else". It's a shame that after 40 years, Nigeria can not produce its domestic consumption.

While stating that marketers did not hoard fuel contrary to the belief in many quarters, he explained that since the price of crude oil went up as a result of Hurricane Harvey in the United States in September, the marketers could no longer import and sell at a controlled price of N145 per litre. "Members include the GMD of NNPC, most of the parastatals in the ministry (of Petroleum Resources), DAPPMAN, IPMAN, MOMAN, and Labour unions".

Baru said the situation is now under control. "No marketer makes money from hoarding petroleum products, our business is to take petrol and sell". The has necessitated the use of trucks to distribute the product across the country.

They also denied insinuations that they were responsible for the recent scarcity of the product across the country. Marketers are your brothers; they are Nigerian citizens; they are businessmen. The pipelines should be concessioned to allow private participation.

Oil marketers have agreed on Wednesday with the Federal Government to allow the pump price of petrol to remain at N145 per litre, a move that reverses their previous stance on the pricing of the commodity.

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The Executive Secretary of the association, Obafemi Olawore also called for accelerated attention to the Petroleum Industry Bill before the National Assembly. "This is instead of passing it through DAPPMA to IPMAN", the source said.

Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel IbeKachikwu (left) in a tête-à-tête with NNPC Group Managing Director, Dr. MaikantiBaru, at the Joint Senate and House Committees on Petroleum, Downstream, Thursday in Abuja.

"I have said that selling crude is a fairly wrong model which is akin to selling our agricultural products in the wrong way and nobody does that anywhere in the world anymore".

The Minister said there was no single evidence that marketers were hoarding petroleum products and as such, they could not be punished.

"We now have to go back and find the solution to this problem in order to ease supply gaps and ensure availability of the product at all times, the marketers were able to sell for N145 per litre when the exchange rate was N285 per Dollar".

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