Fuel scarcity: End this in 2 weeks or… – Senate

By Post Nigeria November 26, 2015 17:12

Fuel scarcity: End this in 2 weeks or… – Senate

The Senate on Thursday, November 26, ordered President Muhammadu Buhari, who doubles as the Minister of Petroleum to end the drawn out petrol scarcity in two weeks.

The Red Chamber also directed the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum and other agencies in the petroleum sector to ensure availability of the product across the country within the same timeframe.

Chairman Senate Committee on Petroleum Downstream, Uche Ekwunife, giving the charge during a meeting with stakeholders in the oil industry at the National Assembly Complex in Abuja said, “We are mandating the Minister of Petroleum Resources, the Permanent Secretary and Heads of Agencies to put an end to this.

“We are giving a target now; we don’t want to know how you will achieve it. Nigerians want to see an end to this fuel scarcity‎,” she said.

While addressing officials of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, as well as the Pipeline Products and Marketing Company, PPMC, and Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, she stressed Nigerians were fed up.

“Nigerians want to see 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.”

Ekwunife also mandated the agencies to ensure that petrol, when supplied, will be sold at uniform price all over the country.

“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, and must be sold at the uniform price of N87 per liter everywhere in the country.”

The resolution is coming at time the President has been accused of insensitivity towards the plight of the average Nigerian with barely a word from the Presidency on the issue.

The All Progressive Congress, APC, on Tuesday, November 24, tried to sabotage previous efforts to summon Buhari.

See: #FuelScarcity: Buhari is untouchable – APC Lawmakers

PPMC Managing Director, Esther Nnamdi-Ogbue, told the Committee that the major problem disrupting fuel distribution in the country was vandalization of the oil pipelines by criminals.

“Nigeria lost about 531 million liters of petrol, valued at N50bn to the activities of vandals, between January and September 2015.”

She also accused petroleum products marketers of economic sabotage for failing to sell products at the approved price of N87.

Nnamdi-Ogbue, also stated that marketers refused to lift products as a result of subsidy debt of over N413bn owed them by the federal government.

A motion sponsored ‎by Barau Jibrin representing Kano North, and co-sponsored by 28 other Senators lamented that fuel scarcity had remained a recurring problem in the country, calling for a lasting solution to the trend.

Debating the motion, Gbenga Ashafa, from Lagos State, urged his colleagues to give their approval to the N465bn supplementary budget of the President so the subsidy claims could be settled.