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Fuel Scarcity to end before Christmas

Fuel Scarcity to end before Christmas

 

Harold Udoka

Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, the he Minister of State for Petroleum has assured petroleum marketers that outstanding payment for products imported would be made next week and promised Nigerians that fuel scarcity would end before Christmas

Dr. Kachikwu  who spoke after a tour of service stations and depots in Lagos on Tuesday The Minister said there was enough petrol to dispense and wondered why cases of scarcity persisted.

The Minister who was accompanied by the Managing Director of Pipelines and Product Marketing Company and Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) officials urged Nigerians to shun panic buying, adding that though there was a shortfall because only the FG is importing fuel as marketers are not bringing in products because of subsidy payments but there was still enough for local consumption.

In his words “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? 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 on at the moment. 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 said, emphasising that he had given a 90-day ultimatum to the refineries managers to begin operations.

Revealing further plans of the government in the petroleum sector, the Minister 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.” He appealed to Nigerians to collaborate with government and give time for its plans to work.

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