Fuel Scarcity: Buhari chairs 14-member committee, to address nationwide petroleum products crisis

Oredola Adeola

As part of efforts to find a lasting solution to the prevailing fuel scarcity across the country, President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the constitution of a 14-man Steering Committee on Petroleum Products Supply and Distribution management to guarantee nationwide supply.

This was disclosed in a statement by Horatius Egua, Senior Adviser (Media and Communications) Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources.

According to the statement, President Buhari, who is the Minister of Petroleum Resources will act as the Chairman of the Committee, while Chief Sylva, is expected to serve as the Alternate Chairman of the Committee.

The Committee is expected to ensure transparent and efficient supply and distribution of petroleum products across the country.

Sylva has therefore directed the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, NMDPRA, to ensure strict compliance with the government-approved ex-depot and retail prices for PMS.

This according to him is part of a measure aimed at ensuring sanity in the supply and distribution across the value chain.

The Minister also directed the NMDPRA to ensure that NNPC Limited, which is the supplier of last resort, meets the domestic supply obligation of PMS and other petroleum products in the country.

He insisted that the interests of the ordinary Nigerian are protected from price exploitation on other deregulated products such as Automotive Gas Oil, AGO, Dual Purpose Kerosene, DPK, and Liquified Petroleum Gas, LPG.

He said, “The Federal Government will not allow misguided elements to bring untold hardship upon the citizenry and attempt to discredit the government’s efforts in consolidating the gains made thus far in the oil and gas sector of the economy,” he said.

Members of the committee also include the Minister of Finance, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, National Economic Adviser to the President, and Director-General of the Department of State Services, DSS.

Others are the Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Customs Service, NCS, Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and Commandant-General of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC.

The steering committee members also include the Chief Executive of NMDPRA, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPC Limited, the Special Advisor (Special Duties) to the HMSPR, and the Technical Advisor (Midstream) to the HMSPR who will serve as Secretary.

Over 13 months fuel scarcity has continued to affect commercial activities across major cities in Nigeria including the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Lagos, despite assurances by the government guaranteeing the availability of the product.

The NNPC had recently increased its retail pump price from 169/per litre to N194/litre across the country, while major oil marketers are selling around N194/litre and N200/litre.

Independent marketers are selling at different prices ranging from N260/litre to N400/litre depending on the location.

EnergyDay however gathered that the government approved N148.17 per litre ex-depot price of PMS as it continues to pay subsidy on the product.