…As Minister blames scarcity on winter
SUNDAY ODE, Abuja
The Federal Executive Council, FEC, on Wednesday gave a marching order to the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu and the Group Managing Director, GMD, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Maikanti Baru to end fuel scarcity by all means this weekend.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, disclosed this to State House Correspondents after the FEC meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.The Minister also assured that contrary to reports, government has no intention of increasing fuel pump price. He blamed the winter period for the fuel scarcity pointing out that there is always more demand for petroleum products during winter.He said: “The minister of petroleum was suppose to join us but he has to attend a very important meeting so that this crisis would be resolved. No. The government has no intention at all that to increase the pump price of PMS.
“Two, the minister assured the council that we have enough products till the next one month even till the end of January. Thirdly, this is winter period. There is always more demand for refined products for petroleum during winter period in the colder countries, this is what we are experiencing now. Also, that it has been the NNPC that has been importing but he has assured. “The council gave him a matching order that this fuel scarcity should not last beyond this weekend and they are going to work very hard to ensure that it is curtailed. He assured council that there is actually no cause for alarm’’, he said.
Long fuel queues had resurfaced nationwide on Monday despite assurances from the NNPC that it had enough fuel stock to last the yuletide period. NNPC had further assured that there was no plan to increase fuel price at depot and fuel station.In a statement, the corporation’s Group General Manager, Public Affairs Division, Ndu Ughamadu said there was no plan to increase prices at the ex-depot level and pump price ahead of the forthcoming yuletide.He said that the ex-depot petrol price of N133.38 per litre and pump price of N143/N145 per litre had not changed even as he assured the public that the corporation had enough stock of petroleum products to ensure seamless supply and distribution of products across the country, especially during the yuletide.
He urged motorists and other users of petroleum products to disregard speculations over an impending fuel price hike. According to him, “The NNPC has the full commitment of all downstream stakeholders, including petroleum marketers and industry unions to cooperate in achieving zero fuel scarcity this season and beyond. “We enjoin motorists not to engage in panic buying or indulge in the dangerous practice of stocking petroleum products in jerry cans at home. The Petroleum Products Marketing Company and NNPC Retail Limited are fully geared up to ensure that motorists enjoy uninterrupted access to petrol throughout the nation,’’ he added.
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