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Fuel scarcity to end next week, says Kachikwu

by on April 21, 2016
 
Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, yes­terday promised Nigerians that every part of Nigeria will have sufficient petrol supply by the end of next week.
He announced this to State House correspon­dents after he briefed the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari on the lingering fuel scarcity in the country.
He said several measures were being put in place to flood the various petrol depots with the commod­ity, including increased importation, cross-country freights and repairs on the damaged Forcados oil ter­minal, which will be ready by June.
Kachikwu, who blamed sabotage by owners of fill­ing stations, among other factors as being respon­sible for the scarcity, said “we have continued to pro­vide enough gas to uplift to about 5,000 megawatts, the highest number we have had in this country since 1960.
“And there was sabotage on the Forcados line and that is not the responsibil­ity of the Ministry of Pe­troleum, the line won’t be ready until June. We are also looking at the inter­mediary structures that will help us come back on line with some gas, maybe not 100 per cent gas re­placement but certainly with substantial portion of gas.”
Other problems were N600 backlog of subsidy payments for 2014 and 2015 and the resort to 100 per cent importation of re­fined petrol by the NNPC.
“On the logistic side, re­fineries were not producing when we came in meaning we had no reserves. When you don’t have reserve the hiccups hit you right at the belly button because there is nothing to replace with”, he stated.
The Minister further explained that efforts are on to flood the country with petrol so that be­tween now and October, “we have cargo in excess of what we should need, so we have addressed the supply issue”.
He added that “the queues are as a result of sabotage. Some people rather than sell products send them into interlands where they can sell at ri­diculous prices and so you are having this price dis­tortions where people are making a lot of money.
“Some are internal and some are external but a lot of it is marketers trying to make quick returns on their investments wrongly.

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