Posted by News Express | 2 December 2015 | 2,482 times
The Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has assured petroleum marketers that outstanding payment for products imported would be made next week.
Dr. Kachikwu spoke after a tour of service stations and depots in Lagos on Tuesday.
He was accompanied by the Managing Director of Pipelines and Product Marketing Company and Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) officials.
The Minister said there was enough petrol to dispense and wondered why cases of scarcity persisted.
Dr. Kachikwu, however, admitted that there was a shortfall in supply, as a lot of marketers were not bringing in products because they were owed subsidy money.
He said that the money would be paid to the marketers before the end of next week and appealed to Nigerians to stop any form of panic buying, as the available product would go round.
“We have enough product to last us through December. We are bringing in more intervention products and we are doing everything that we can to bring in more products that are actually more than required by the nation by December. People should stop panic buying. DPR is going to do their work and enforce the rules,” he stressed.
Giving the long term plan of the government to ensure availability of petroleum products, Dr. Kachikwu said that the government was looking at what to do with strategic reserves.
“How do we have enough products in reserves so that these sought of situations do not arise?” he asked, adding: “No country in the world deserves to have this kind of disruption in their day-to-day activities because of product. Our refineries which haven’t worked so far, we are working. I have been told that Port Harcourt and Kaduna, subject to us being able to deal with the pipeline issue, may be able to come back before the end of December and help.”
The minister emphasised that he had given a 90-day ultimatum to the refineries managers to begin operations. The ultimatum will end in December.
Announcing further plans of the government in the petroleum sector, Kachikwu stated that in January, the government would consider the refinery models.
He said that the government would be looking on how to get people to assist with the technical work to get the refineries to work in a much more consistent and permanent basis.
“From late January, we will begin with the direct sales-direct-purchase programme and you will have a lot more predictability and efficiency in what we are doing,” the minister said.
He appealed to Nigerians to work with the government collaboratively and give it time for the plans to work.
For more than one month, Nigerians have experienced shortage in supply of petrol, leading to queues at different service stations across the nation.
Some service stations sell above the approved pump price of 87 Naira, making a fortune out of vehicle users and those buying to fuel their electricity generating sect. (Channels TV)
•Photo shows Kachikwu.
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