Fuel Scarcity: Reps urge Nigerians against panic buying

Elizabeth AtimeMay 2, 20245 min

Reps urge Nigerians not to engage in panic buying of fuel alluded to the issues of logistics which is causing fuel scarcity that has brought untold hardship to Nigerians.

The members of the House of Representatives Joint Committee on Petroleum Downstream and Midstream, have urged Nigerians not to engage in panic buying of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) – fuel, adding that the queues in filling stations across the country will soon disappear.

The lawmakers also alluded to the issues of logistics which is causing fuel scarcity that has in the last few days brought untold hardship to Nigerians.

This assurance was given by the members of the Committees chaired by Rep. Ikenga Ugochinyere (PDP, Imo) and Rep. Henry Odianosen Okojie (APC, Edo) respectively.

Okojie in his remarks, while briefing reporters at the National Assembly Complex on Wednesday said there is enough product to go around.

“I am just going to give a bit of an update on what is happening in the country today. As a committee, we have engaged sufficiently with the appropriate authorities in terms of fuel distribution and as of today the report we are getting suggests that the fuel queues have started reducing and products have started arriving at the petrol stations. 

“We urge Nigerians not to engage in panic buying and being enmeshed in unnecessary rush to buy products. As a country, we have a storage of over 1.5 billion litres which can last for over 30 days. Now products are arriving and more products are on the high sea. The challenges that caused the disruption were the logistics issues and that has been handled with the maritime shuttle vessels as we speak, which will move products to marketers who are on standby waiting to serve the people. The logistics issues have been resolved completely and hopefully, supply to stations will increase in a few days. There is no need to panic. Fuel is available and soon distribution will begin. In another day or two, there would not be fuel queues anymore in the country.”

On his part, Ugochinyere said they have gotten assurances from the regulators in the distribution value chain that these bottlenecks have been cleared saying from their investigation, there is availability of petroleum products and they had in the last few days reached out to the stakeholders in the petroleum distribution value chain.

Those stakeholders include the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), the Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria (PETROAN), and the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) to mention a few.

“We have engaged extensively with them, to ascertain the cause of the resurgence of the fuel queues in petrol stations across the country. However, we are convinced that this is temporary based on our investigation and in a couple of days, we shall get over it,” he said.

We have gotten assurances from the regulators and the unions, that these challenges will be cleared in a few days. It will require more time, like two to three days, for products to be distributed to all stations nationwide. As a Committee that is charged with downstream and midstream oversight, we have been monitoring this development. Also, in line with our legislative duties of over-sighting the downstream and midstream petroleum sector, we have been in touch with the key stakeholders, the regulatory bodies and the transport unions, to ensure that the products get to our people timeously and without further delay.

At this juncture, we strongly frown 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. We hereby call on security forces to support the NNPCL, NMDPRA, PETROAN, NARTO and other key stakeholders in the distribution value chain, to ensure that such acts of economic sabotage that have to do with hoarding, arbitrary increment in price, product 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. We appeal to all traders and those rendering services, not to unduly take advantage of this temporary challenge, which will be cleared in the next few days.

“We assure you that there is no cause for alarm. Products are available and will in a few days be circulated across the country. As the people’s parliament and as a Committee of Midstream and Downstream, we would be awake to our legislative duties and ensure that all the timelines are met and kept. We shall also work with the stakeholders to ensure that the issues are fixed.”

Elizabeth Atime

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