The independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has appealed for a guaranteed supply of petroleum products from the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) facilities including land and floating mega stations nationwide to facilitate the movement of vehicles and boats for easy mobility of men and materials for the election.
Professor Mahmood Yakubu, INEC Chairman, made this appeal on Tuesday, during a meeting with Mele Kyari, Group Chief Executive Officer(GCEO) of NNPCl, and other top officials and management staff of the national oil company, at the NNPC tower in Abuja.
According to him, INEC is determined to overcome the perennial challenge of late commencement of polls on grounds of logistics which cannot be fully accomplished without the guaranteed supply of petroleum products to facilitate the movement of vehicles and boats.
Professor Yakubu said, “As you are aware, Nigerians will go to the polls in a little over three weeks in what will be our 7th consecutive General Election since the restoration of democracy in 1999. The election will be held in two phases.
“The national elections (Presidential and National Assembly) will be held on Saturday 25th February 2023 to be followed two weeks later by State elections (Governorship and States Houses of Assembly) on Saturday 11th March 2023.
“In our effort to mobilise every national institution to give Nigerians a pleasant experience on Election Day, the Commission believes that the NNPC, as our national oil company, is one of the critical institutions that can facilitate the attainment of our objective.
“We are aware of the efforts of the NNPC to ease the current situation in earnest. At the same time, we would like to appeal to you to consider the use of the NNPC land and floating mega stations nationwide to service our election duty vehicles and boats.
“We will bear the cost of the products. By doing so, there will be a guaranteed supply for elections.
” Consider a special arrangement with other marketers in locations where the NNPC may not have dedicated stations; and approve other options to support our seamless operations on election days,” the INEC Chairman requested.
Professors Yakubu however noted that the request for guaranteed petrol supply at a cost to INEC for election duty vehicles and boats is critical in the interest of the country.
Mele Kyari, GCEO in his response to the INEC’s request promised the commitment of the national oil company to guarantee supply of petroleum products in all its facilities nationwide for the smooth conduct of the general election.
Kyari said, “We’ll work with your logistic team to identify those areas where we may not have a presence so that we can bring in other marketing companies into the conversation so that the products are made available to all the 100,000 vehicles that you have indicated.
“We will also look at this and see how we can make it available for the purpose of Marine operations in the riverine areas of our country.”