Kachikwu explains cause of fuel scarcity

By George Akpayen

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Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

Nigeria’s minister of state for petroleum resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, has revealed that the reason for the scarcity of premium motor spirit otherwise known as fuel this week in the country is largely due to a shortfall in supply of petroleum products.

He explained to journalists in the country’s capital, Abuja on Thursday that the problem stems from the fact that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) being “the only one importing the product into the country.”

“The major problem is the gap in terms of volume, because NNPC is the only one importing the product into the country,” he said.

Kachikwu however assured that the growing queues at fuel filling stations in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and other cities affected will reduce in the coming days.

He added that measures have been taken to ease the scarcity of the products in some cities already.

“At present, queues in Lagos have reduced. We know that Lagos, Abuja, Benue, Port Harcourt were among the worst-hit areas.

“Benue has so far been dealt with, and Port Harcourt is quite moderated. Apart from these areas, other places in the country are probably liquid,” he said.

Strict sanction on defaulting fuel stations

The minister then made it clear that the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) have been mandated to make sure that strict measures are taken so as to curb any form of sabotage in resolving the scarcity.

He warned that the monitoring agencies have been given the nod to take actions against fuel stations that flout the rules.

“I have asked the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency to make sure strict sanctions on any station that refuses to abide by the rules. They need to take a firm action to ensure that we get quick results,” he said.

Kachikwu further said the country is expecting four vessels carrying petroleum products to arrive to help curb the scarcity.

“In a few days, a total of 20 cargoes (on four vessels) are expected to berth in the country with petroleum products,” he said.

But the minister still believes the long-term solution remains in the refineries in the country resuming to satisfactory levels and projects that work will start on the facilities early next year.

However as at Thursday, thepredictorng.com’s checks show that only few fuel filling stations in Abuja and Lagos sold the products.

© The Predictor

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