The Nigerian Senate gave a seven-day ultimatum on Thursday, to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, (NNPC), to clear the lingering queues at the filling stations by ensuring enough supply of petrol nationwide.
the Chairman of the Joint Senate and House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum (Downstream), Kabiru Marafa (APC, Zamfara Central), gave in-depth explanation following the presentation of the committee’s resolutions at plenary.
He said that security agencies have been directed to adequately police Nigerian borders to stop the smuggling of petroleum products.
Mr. Marafa furthermore said that the committee met with officials of the NNPC last Wednesday and queried them on why the fuel queues have refused to disappear.
“On the reasons, the queues are back, according to the (NNPC) they told us that it was a combined issue of the supply gap, coupled with massive smuggling across our borders which is quite alarming. Even two days 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.
“Their challenges, they still talked about the problem of smuggling, failure by marketers to sell at the approved pump price (N145).He also said, that They told us every liter 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”.
While presenting the resolutions, Mr. Marafa added that a directive be given to the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to double their efforts in enforcing price control and monitoring of our borders.
In conclusion, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, therefore directed the committee to report back to plenary next week to confirm that NNPC has complied with the Senate’s directive