Fuel Queues: Senate Gives NNPC Marching Orders, Issues Seven-day Ultimatum
The Senate thursday issued a seven-day ultimatum to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to ensure there is adequate supply of petrol nationwide in order to clear the lingering queues at the filling stations within seven days.
The legislative body also directed security agencies to adequately police Nigerian borders to stop the smuggling of petroleum products.
This is in addition to the directive to the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to double their efforts in enforcing price control and monitoring. The resolutions were taken following the adoption of the report of the Joint Senate and House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum (Downstream) presented at plenary.
The committee is chaired by Senator Kabiru Marafa who presented the resolutions reached by the joint committee. Marafa explained that the committee met with officials of the NNPC last Wednesday and queried them on why the fuel queues have refused to disappear.
“Direct all security agencies to ensure effective border control measures to avoid the smuggling of petroleum products.
“Direct DPR to double its efforts in enforcing price control and monitoring,” the resolution read.
“On the reasons the queues are back, they told us that it was a combined issues of the supply gap, coupled with massive smuggling across our borders which is quite alarming. Even two day ago, I saw on national television where customs officials intercepted more than 3,000 jerry cans of fuel in addition to the quantities being smuggled across the borders,” Marafa said.
According to him, “On their challenges, they still talked about this problem of smuggling, failure by marketers to sell at the approved pump price (N145). They told us that every litre of fuel in the country today is brought in (imported) by NNPC and that the corporation still sells at the controlled price till today. Therefore, anybody selling above the pump price is doing so at his own risk.
“They also told us that cooperation was required from the security agencies,” Marafa added.
Presiding, Senate President, Bukola Saraki, directed the committee to report back to plenary next week to confirm that NNPC has complied with the Senate’s directives.