The resurgence of long queues at various filling stations across the country, occasioned by scarcity of fuel products has prompted President Muhammadu Buhari to issue a directive to the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Maikanti Baru to end the scarcity with immediate effect.
The directive came on Wednesday, after the Federal Executive Council meeting, despite earlier assurance from the NNPC Boss that there was adequate fuel to serve the populace throughout the yuletide.
Obviously embarrassed by the development, Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed attempted to give reasons why there was fuel scarcity.
He explained that the high demand for refined products this winter season may have been some remote factors why the scarcity resurfaced.
Meanwhile, INDEPENDENT findings revealed that the scarcity was as a result of independent oil marketers who preferred to import refined petrol from neighbouring Niger Republic.
The source, who spoke to our reporter on condition of anonymity, said the independent marketers were hatching plans to force an increase in the pump price of petrol to cover logistics they incur from importing the fuel from Niger republic.
He added that the NNPC had been opposed to the plans for increase, hence the artificial scarcity and panic buying from motorists.
“The Minister of Petroleum Resources was suppose to join us at this briefing but he has to attend a very important meeting so that this crisis would be resolved.
“No. The government has no intention at all to increase the pump price of PMS.
“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 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 told State House correspondents after the FEC meeting