FUEL SCARCITY: Kachikwu disagrees with NNPC, DPR, says marketers not to blame

FUEL SCARCITY: Kachikwu disagrees with NNPC, DPR, says marketers not to blame

The National President of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Chinedu Okoronkwo, said with yesterday's meeting, "Nigerians should go home and be glad because the issues of constant fuel supply have been resolved".

"This is a democratic government".

In a presentation to the Joint Senate and House Committees on Petroleum Downstream on Thursday, Dr. Kachikwu explained that it was imperative to explore options which would open up the market and allow oil marketers to import petroleum products and complement the ongoing efforts by the NNPC to sustain the sanitization of the products supply and distribution matrix.

The Federal Government on Tuesday met with major oil marketers in the country in Nigeria's capital, Abuja.

According to him, the NNPC had prior to the scarcity, had 1.9 billion litres in reserve, which was emptied as a result of panic buying arising from rumour earlier made on social media about price increase, the one day strike action embarked upon by PENGASSAN, hoarding and diversion by some dubious players in the sector. "I don't have one (evidence) yet; if you have one, I will like to have it".

They also denied insinuations that they were responsible for the recent scarcity of the product across the country.

A lot of issues were raised and a committee was constituted that will meet tomorrow 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.

The Chairman of Depot and Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPMAN), Mr Dapo Abiodun, said the meeting was called at the instance of the chief of staff to the president and it was to find out exactly what happened.

He added, "The situation from our point of view is that from January to December, the price of crude remained relatively stable; but following the hurricane in September to October, crude prices went up and marketers lost the ability to import and sell at N145 per litre".

While calling on the general public to contact the agency with any useful information on anyone hoarding fuel, he disclosed that the agency had charged individual marketers to comply with Government pump price.

NNPC Spokesman, Ndu Ughamadu, said in a statement in Abuja that the warning followed the uncovering of 144 oil tankers filled with petroleum products in Kano.

Chairman, Board of Trustees of Independent Petroleum Marketers As sociation of Nigeria (IPMAN), Aminu Abdulkadir, said today's meeting will afford the opportunity to make full disclosure on ways of augmenting marketers' shortfall so that they can come back to the business of fuel importation.

"Since the price of crude is directly proportional to refined products, we can not import petrol and sell at N145 anymore".

His statement read in part: "NNPC warns marketers not to hoard products as law enforcement agencies, working with industry regulators, have been detailed to take appropriate measures against any defaulter".

"They (government representatives) have also assured us that the refineries are coming on stream with installed capacities".

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