By Henry Umoru
ABUJA – THE Group Managing Director of National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Mr. Andrew Yakubu Tuesday told the Senate that recent fuel scarcity experienced by Nigerians was as a result of thefire incident which damaged oil pipelines in Arepo, Ogun state.
Yakubu who was represented by the Executive Director of NNPC on Public Services, Peter Madu when he appeared before the Senator Magnus Abe led Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources, Downstream also told the Senators that the problem was also attributable to hoodlums who disrupted repair works at the incident and affected flow of the product.
The Senate following the fuel scarcity across the country, summoned the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Alison-Madueke, GMD, NNPC, Executive Secretary, Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, Mr. Reginald Stanley and other stakeholders in the sector to appear before the Committee why the country must experience such problem now.
Speaking further, Madu who noted that attack on the crew of NNPC who went to effect repairs was also responsible for the shortage, said, ‘’three of our men including an engineer were abducted and yet to be found and this was aside three currently receiving treatment”.
According to him, the NNPC had to put in place alternative arrangements to use tankers, but however lamented many of the tankers were held up in the Lokoja flooding, adding, ‘’it would take longer turn around for the tankers to get to their destinations and this has been responsible for the current hiccups noticed last week.’’
He however assured Nigerians that the product was now to serve the country, adding, ‘’we have beefed up our depots in Suleja, Minna, Jos, Gusau and Kano. Kaduna refinery has pumped 4 million litres to ease supply”.
On proposed strike by NUPENG and PENGASAN, Madu disclosed that the NNPC was yet to be notified on the development.
After the submission, Chairman of the Committee, Senator Magnus Abe, who commiserated with the NNPC over the abduction of its three staff, however urged the Inspector General of Police to arrest the perpetrators of Arepo vandalisation of the pipelines, adding, “the senate is concerned about the preservation of the country’s pipelines and nobody should be allowed to get away with such criminal acts. The IG must bring to book all those responsible for disrupting the repairs of the pipelines in Arepo”.
Following the absence of the Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Allison-Madueke, Senator Abe however agreed that the Senate would bend its rules, just as he said that the Minister and other will appear on Friday next week.