FG vows to find permanent solutions to fuel scarcity
Chief Timipre Sylva
By Emmanuella Anokam
The Federal Government has warned of dire consequences for any individual or groups who attempt to exploit or further cause untold hardship to ordinary Nigerians by disrupting fuel supply and distribution chain.
This is coming on the heels of renewed efforts by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd. (NNPCL) to maintain the 450.92 million litres weekly evacuation of Premium Motor Spirit to different petrol stations nationwide.
The Minister of State Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, gave the warning on Tuesday in a statement by his Senior Adviser, Media and Communications, Horatius Egua.
Sylva, while reassuring Nigerians of government‘s determination called on security agencies to be on high alert in preventing attempts by subversive elements to cause any disruption during the period of the general elections in the country.
He appealed to Nigerians for understanding, noting that the President Muhammadu Buhari‘s government was sincere with finding permanent solutions to the fuel problems in the country.
He said the government was exploring all options in seeking an end to the fuel problem in the country.
Slyva urged stakeholders in the oil and gas sector to join hands with government in ending the problem.
During a tour of selected petrol stations, in Abuja, on Friday Sylva had expressed government’s satisfaction at the efforts of the NNPCL in ensuring fuel availability to the average Nigerian and urged them to keep up the tempo.
In the last one month, NNPCL has maintained a total weekly evacuation of 450.92 million litres of PMS, a daily average of 64.42 million litres.
Sylva, while calling for a collective support in dealing with the fuel issue said the government felt the pains of the ordinary Nigerian occasioned by the lingering fuel queues.
He said that the relevant government agencies were working round the clock to ensure fuel availability at petrol stations across the country.
“The problems associated with fuel queues in the country is not a problem that came with Buhari’s government but a fallout of long years of rot and decadence in products supply and distribution chain by successive governments.
“Buhari’s administration is addressing the problem holistically, this is the first time in so many years that a government is addressing the problems associated with fuel supply and distribution collectively,’’ he said.
And as part of the move to find lasting solution to the problem, the minister said the Federal Government recently set up a 14-Man committee to get to the bottom of the problem with a view to avoiding future occurrences.
He said the Federal Government had also embarked on refineries rehabilitations neglected over the years with Port Harcourt Refinery at about 65 per cent completion, Kaduna just awarded to Daewo of South Korea and Warri expected to follow soon.
He said the government through the NNPCL acquired a 20 per cent equity stake in the Dangote Refinery had embarked on the licensing of modular refineries.
According to him, it concluded the marginal fields bid and improvement of security along crude pipelines in the Niger Delta region in the last few months, all geared toward increasing crude oil production to meet domestic consumption.