Fuel Queues: Normalcy To Return In Few Days, Reps Assure


By Sunday Etuka, Abuja

The House of Representatives Committees on Petroleum Resources, Downstream and midstream have appealed to Nigerians to remain calm as efforts are going to address the supply disruptions being experienced at filling stations across the country.

This is just as the committees disclosed that there is availability of petrol products in Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd) storage facilities, about 1.5 billion litres that can last for 30 days.

The development was contained in a joint statement signed and issued on Wednesday by the Chairman, House Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream), Hon. Ikenga Ugochinyere, and House Committee Chairman on Midstream Petroleum, Hon. Odianosen Okogie.

The lawmakers attributed the current fuel scarcity to logistic issues impeding the transportation of the products from the mother vessel to the respective petrol stations, noting that the challenges are being addressed, and normalcy would return in few days’ time.

Hon. Ugochinyere who represents Ideato North South Federal Constituency of Imo State, however, assured that the committees have resolved that going forward, in order to avert the reoccurrence of the distribution disruption, shall work closely with all the key stakeholders in the industry, towards finding a sustainable solutions to the challenges.

However, he said, “we are convinced that this is temporary and in a couple of days, we shall get over it. From our investigations, we have found out that there is availability of petrol products. We have on good authority that we have in our storage facilities, at least, about 1.5 billion litres of petrol that can last for 30 days.

“It is however, saddening to note that it is as a result of logistics that the queues have resurfaced. These logistic issues range from difficulty in transporting products from the mother vessel to the respective petrol stations. Movement of products from offshore marine vessels to the stations, disruption from Escravos channels.

“We have gotten the assurances from the regulators in the value chain that these bottlenecks are being cleared.

“In the course of this public holiday, more grounds will be covered. From our findings, the issues that necessitated the disruptions which led to the appearance of fuel queues in petrol stations have been cleared. Obviously, it will take a few days for things to return back to normalcy.

“Therefore, we call on Nigerians not to fret over this development. We have gotten assurances from the regulators and the unions that these will be cleared in the next two days. It will require more time, like two to three days, for products to be distributed to all stations nationwide”, he said.

The House Committees, however, frowned at the activities of middlemen who have taken advantage of the short disruption of supply, to maximize profit and generate inordinate gain for themselves, at the detriment of our people, therefore, called on security forces to support the NNPCL, NMDPRA, PETROAN, NARTO and other key stakeholders in the distribution chain, to ensure that acts of economic sabotage that has to do with hoarding, arbitrary increment in price, products diversion and smuggling are detected and dealt with.

“Our people have been through a lot in the last few days and we must not plunge them into further pains”, he said.

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