Petrol scarcity: Reps, NNPC, to meet on Thursday

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, as the sole importer of Premium Motor Spirit, often known as petrol, has been requested by the House of Representatives to reduce the long queues at the filling stations around Nigeria immediately.

The House also urged the relevant security agencies to “fish out those oil marketers and other economic saboteurs that may be responsible for the fuel scarcity across the country.”

While mandating the relevant committees to investigate the matter within 48 hours and report back, the House resolved to “invite the relevant regulatory authority to appear before the leadership of the House of Representatives tomorrow, Thursday, 26/01/2023, by 2pm.”

These resolutions were passed after a member named Leke Abejide’s motion of urgent public concern was approved by all members in the plenary on Wednesday.

Abejide moved the resolution, “Need for the NNPC Limited and Other Regulators in the Petroleum Industry to End the Fuel Scarcity Across the Country,” pointing out that the only importer of gasoline in the nation is NNPC Limited.

He claims that the National Assembly approved the funding for the petroleum product subsidies in order to address unforeseen events, particularly product shortages.

In several areas of the country, there has been a persistent shortage of PMS for over three months, and “the situation appears to be getting worse,” the lawmaker noted.

The disparity in pump prices at the country’s filling stations was another point made by Abejide. He claimed that this “fields speculations that government may have begun to remove subsidy on petrol.”

The claim of a reduction in the supply of gasoline to marketers by private depots, he continued, was causing “a dangerous mindset in the country.”

He said, “The House is concerned that the current fuel crisis across the country may worsen in the days ahead, with the introduction of a N16.00 per litre charge. The House is also concerned that another contributing factor to the scarcity of the product may be unconnected with the increased cost of hiring daughter vessels in the hike in litre charges, which hitherto were paid in naira but now being charged in US dollars.

“The House is further concerned that the scarcity is associated with saboteurs among some of the key stakeholders who deliberately manipulated the system. The House is worried that due to the scarcity, Nigerians are exposed to all sorts of hardships, which have resulted in a hike in transportation fares and high cost of some major food items. The House is also worried that as a result of petrol scarcity, Nigerians are not finding it easy in their day-to-day livelihood activities.”

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