Kachikwu Heads Committee Seeking Long-Term Solution To Fuel Scarcity

Kachikwu Heads Committee Seeking Long-Term Solution To Fuel Scarcity

Kachikwu Heads Committee Seeking Long-Term Solution To Fuel Scarcity

Meanwhile, activities at the black marketers in the metropolis have begun to wane as supply and availability of the product have improved.

He said for the price to remain N145/litre, the government had to find other ways to manage the situation as marketers could no longer import and sell at N145. "So we will need to find that evidence, we will definitely punish those who were doing things that are wrong, but more fundamental and more importantly is that we want to find lasting solutions and we all want to work more collaboratively".

Kachikwu made the call yesterday in Abuja during a public hearing organised by the National Assembly Joint Committee investigating the cause of recent fuel scarcity in the country.

Kachikwu also said that lack of sufficient reserve, low clearance speed of petrol at the ports, diversion of products are some of the reasons for the ongoing fuel crisis being experienced in the country, says Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu.

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He said the petrol stations, mostly in Abuja, were found to have diverted petrol supplied to them by the Petroleum Products Marketing Company, PPMC, the downstream subsidiary of the NNPC, for sale to the public. "I don't have one (evidence) yet; if you have one, I will like to have it".

On his part, IPMAN President, Chinedu Okoronkwo, said he was hopeful that the committee would arrive at the way forward, to allow the major and independent marketers participate in importing the products. "A lot of issues were raised and a committee was constituted that will meet today under the chairmanship of the Minister of Petroleum to further go into the nitty gritty and to ensure that these problems do not reoccur again".

Abiodun added, "From our point of view as marketers, we made our submission known to the government and we emphasised the fact that this was not a marketer-related problem".

"There was no hoarding on the part of any marketer".

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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. And this business is a partnership between marketers and NNPC.

Asked to comment on the issue of subsidy, he said: "Well, like I said to you, there is no subsidy at the moment".

Another IPMAN leader, Aminu Abdulkadir, said he was optimistic that there would be full disclosure on plans and ways of augmenting marketers shortfall, to enable them resume importation of products, since NNPC alone did not have all the capacity to handle the situation. A correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, who went round to monitor situation in the city, reports that although the price is still remained high, motorist now drive into the stations easily to buy fuel.

According to him, "the incentives are attractive to those diverting these products because while petrol sells for about N300 in some countries, we are selling at N145, so you can see that they are making huge profits".

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On how close the government is to that lasting solution, the minister responded: "We are going to sit down and find lasting solution". "As far as we are concerned, there is no subsidy in the budget, as far as we are concerned, marketers can not import and sell at N145".

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