The Nigerian military has read the riot act to marketers of premium motor spirit (PMS) popularly known as petrol, to find a lasting solution to the lingering scarcity plaguing the country, or face military clampdown.
This is as group chief executive officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, Mele Kolo Kyari, has admitted that the fuel crisis situation has become a crisis of monumental proportions. Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, yesterday read the riot act during a engagement with Industry and Security Stakeholders in Abuja yesterday to tackle to fuel supply crisis.
General Irabor, who stressed that the federal government is not handicapped on what to do, urged the marketers and other stakeholders to address the situation urgently.“The challenge of availability of fuel across the country has risen to a proportion that has become of great concern to the defence and security of our country.
“I have mandate of Mr President to come to say that because the fuel scarcity is a crisis of internal nature, which of course the police and other
security agencies should lead. And looking at the processes that have been emplaced to redress them, the solution lies in this room. Government is not handicapped and there are alternatives. I need to also indicate that nobody is indispensable. “But if it goes beyond the threshold that affects our defense and security, the government is actually not handicapped. There is an alternative.
“I believe and trust that solution will come. And if there is no solution, let me reiterate that government is not handicapped. And there is alternative, but I pray that it will not get to the level where the alternative will need to be activated,” the CDS said.
Also speaking, the inspector general of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, said the Police will assist the NNPC in monitoring the process of fuel distribution to ensure we end this crisis.
He added if the distribution process is lacking or there are just loopholes to be avoided by those who want to exploit it, the alternative to increase the level of monitoring and supervision.
Group CEO of NNPC Mele Kyari, however emphasized that there is no supply problem but rather the country is facing a dislocation in the distribution of petrol by marketers who are greedy and out to exploit the system.
“We are not dealing with a supply problem. All our suppliers are either in this room or represented in this room. As we speak now, we have 831 million litres in marine that is in shuttle vessels and in mother vessels.
“In the various depots, which all of us here represent, including NNPC, we have up to 738 million litres of fuel in depots that are documented on the platform of the regulator of the industry, the NMDPRA.”
“We regret this situation. We apologize to Nigerians, but definitely the matter is within sight and this is not created by any means to disrupt anything, but it is the real realities of market that are moving and we are very convinced that we can contain this situation. “
“We have reviewed the situation and we have recognised that pricing is a major issue, challenges that we’re facing around the distribution of PMS in our country. Of course, there are other other issues including logistic issues associated with distribution and these matters are now being carefully resolved.
“We are responding to the issues around pricing so that no one exploits Nigerians, unduly and also to to make sure that these products reach their destinations as agreed and we putting up a very enormous framework for monitoring so that every truck that leaves every depot we ensure that it gets to the depot, particularly for major cities in the country, where those products must be delivered. There is no problem of supply. It is a a challenge of dislocation of where this product ends up with and this engagement has enabled us to agree with the marketers to make sure that wherever designed to take your product just in that location and also the government security agencies will do everything possible to ensure enforcement, including the regulatory control by the Nigerian Midstream and downstream regulatory authority. We are very comfortable that this will come, uh, as we already seen in some parts of the country. It is also obvious that the queues that we are seeing are largely in NNPC retail stations and major marketers retail station and some other unassociated but big time trading companies because they sell at very very regulated prices and we are sure that the increased volume that we are pushing into the market and also the understanding that we are reaching with them not to sell at the depot at prices that are clearly in the at the level of greed, it will ease the situation,” he said. (leadership.ng)