By Michael Eboh
THE Federal Government, yesterday, urged Nigerians to exercise patience over the fuel crisis currently witnessed across the country, while it assured the public that the fuel queues currently witnessed in petrol stations would disappear within the next 72 hours, as it has stepped up activities to ensure a significant increase in fuel supply.
Speaking during a monitoring exercise of fuel stations in Abuja, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, also warned that, henceforth, any oil marketer caught hoarding the product, would be forced to dispense all the products in its tanks to motorists for free, while stiff sanctions would be meted out to the marketer subsequently.
Kachikwu, who is also the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, said, “There is enough supply within our facilities. Some of the pipeline issues are being addressed. We are moving stock massively. Most of the stations in Abuja have products right now; it is just a matter of time before the queues disappear.
Disappearance of queues
“I have also instructed DPR, as they proceed, if they see any station that has the product and is not selling, they shouild sell all the products for free to customers and we will impose heavy sanctions on that filling stations. So sealing them, is not the answer, it is penalising them that matters. I urge Nigerians to be patient, stop panic buying, No need for panic buying, there is product, and we are going to get to everybody.”
He further stated that the Federal Government would pay oil marketers the amount owed them as subsidy immediately it secures the approval of the National Assembly.
He, however, lamented that sustaining subsidy payments at the current level is a major problem for the country and it is happening through the magnanimity of the president.
FG to review fuel pricing mechanisms to check subsidy burden.To this end, he said, “By January, we will have price regulation dynamics that will enable us address the critical issues for the marketers. We are going to look at the pricing dynamics to see how we are going to sustain supply at the current environment. We are going to look at it to see if we have enough budgetary provisions to deal with those issues. We are working closely with the president and we are going to find solutions to this problem.”
Also speaking, Director of the Department of Petroleum Resources, Mr. Mordecai Ladan, assured Nigerians that fuel was available and there was enough quantity to go round the country.
He, however, appealed to Nigeria to desist from panic buying, saying that “If we are patient enough, within the next 72 hours, the queues would thin out.”
149 truckloads of fuel deployed to Abuja, environs — DPR: Meanwhile, the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, yesterday, stated that 149 truckloads of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, also known as petrol, were deployed to oil marketers in Abuja and other surrounding states on Tuesday, November 17, 2015.
The DPR, in a statement by its Head, Public Relations, Abuja, Mr. Mohammed Saidu, stated that of the 149 trucks, 99 were dispersed to Abuja, while the rest were deployed to surrounding states. Giving the breakdown of fuel supply to oil marketers in Abuja and the number of trucks allocated to them, the DPR stated that Forte Oil received four trucks; Conoil received 10 trucks; Mobil – eight trucks; MRS – seven trucks; NIPCO – six trucks; Oando – 11; Total Plc – 14 trucks; NNPC Retails – 34 trucks and IPMAN – five trucks.
The DPR also stated that the immediate environs outside Abuja received 32 trucks while others received 18 trucks.
NNPC deploys 38 million litres across Nigeria: The NNPC, however, stated that 38.278 million litres of fuel were dispatched to petrol stations across the country on Monday, November 16, 2015. The NNPC, in its Daily Dispatch Report to Filling Stations, stated that its Suleja depot trucked out 6.62 million litres; Kaduna depot – 1.85 million litres; Kano – 6.15 million litres; Minna – 0.3 million litres; Gusau depot – 3.444 million litres; Mosimi depot -4.2 million litres and Satellite depot – 3.49 million.
Others are: Ilorin depot – 0.629 million litres; Ore – 0.832 million; Ibadan – 0.413 million; Gombe – 5.3 million litres; Benin – 0.331 million litres; Port Harcourt – 0.032 million litres; Aba – 0.179 million litres; Makurdi – 1.58 million litres and Enugu depot – 2.933 million litres.