Fuel scarcity: Jonathan gives Alison-Madueke ultimatum

Posted by News Express | 4 March 2014 | 3,552 times

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The Federal Government has ordered the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, to fix the scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also known as petrol, rocking the country within five days.

A source at the Presidency said President Goodluck Jonathan, who is not happy with the long queues at filling stations and the exorbitant prices petrol is being sold to Nigerians, gave the order yesterday. He summoned the minister and ordered her to ensure that queues disappear in filling stations within the time limit.

“Mr. President has been told different versions of the causes of fuel scarcity. But he believed the one given by the NNPC through the Minister of Petroleum Resources that long queues were caused by some marketers who hoard the product. So, he has ordered the Minister to do the needful to ensure that the long queues disappear immediately. She has five days to effect this nationwide, according to what the President said,” the source disclosed.

The Minister, through the NNPC, had insisted that the scarcity was caused by marketers who engage in hoarding for fear that the government may increase the pump prices of the product above N97 per litre.

“You will see the result of this very soon because the minister had passed the directives to the NNPC, DPR and PPPRA,” he added.

Describing the nationwide scarcity as artificial, the NNPC backed its argument by the disappearance of long queues in Abuja filling stations after a thorough monitoring last week. The management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) had at the weekend said it commenced fresh measures to halt what it described as artificially-induced fuel scarcity noticeable in some parts of the country particularly in Lagos and its environs.

Acting Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the Corporation, Dr. Omar Farouk Ibrahim, stated in a statement that the NNPC, in conjunction with the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) will commence detailed monitoring of fuel stations in Lagos and its environs.

The monitoring will also be extended to “any other state to checkmate the incidence of hoarding and panic buying of fuel. “We tried it in Abuja and its environs and today, the effective monitoring has decimated the hitherto long fuel queues in Abuja. We are extending the extensive joint monitoring to Lagos,” Ibrahim said.

The NNPC spokesman stated that as the supplier of last resort, the Corporation is doing everything within its mandate to alleviate the avoidable hardship caused by the fuel situation. He reiterated that the Federal Government has no plan to increase the price of petrol as being speculated.

“It is pertinent to state, for the umpteenth time, that there is no plan by the Federal Government to increase the price of petrol. Once again, we appeal to marketers to refrain from hoarding and to members of the public not to engage in panic buying. “We are convinced that in the days ahead, the fuel situation will normalise as there are enough petrol to go round,” he said.

•Excerpted from New Telegraph.

Source: News Express

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