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  • Updated: May 02, 2024

Reps urges security agencies to go after fuel hoarders

Reps urges security agencies to go after fuel hoarders

The Federal House of Representatives has called on security agencies to pick up hoarders of the Premium Motor Spirit, also known as petrol.

The House of Representatives through the Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream and Midstream) also assured Nigerians of the availability of petrol in stock, stressing that the logistical challenges which made the product scarce were being addressed.

Making this development known at the National Assembly Complex, Abuja, on Wednesday, the co-chair of the committee and Chairman, House Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream), Ikenga Ugochinyere, said there was enough petrol to service the country for about 30 days.

He, however, said the distribution to marketers was disrupted by challenges of transport vessels, which were supposed to take the products from offshore to onshore.

Ugochinyere said, “We strongly frown on the activities of middlemen who have taken advantage of the short disruption of supply to maximise profit and generate inordinate gains for themselves at the detriment of our people.

“We hereby call on security forces to support the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria, the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners and other key stakeholders in the distribution chain, to ensure that acts of economic sabotage that has to do with hoarding, arbitrary increment in price, products 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.”

The committees assured Nigerians that the challenges would be over in a few days, noting that regulators in the value chain had pledged to address the issues.

“We express our concerns over the temporary presence of fuel queues in petrol stations across the country. This has adversely affected the lives and businesses of Nigerians across the country.

“As elected representatives of the Nigerian people, we are greatly disturbed by this development. However, we are convinced that this is temporary and, in a couple of days, we shall get over it.

“From our investigations, we have found out that there is availability of petrol products. We have it on good authority that we have in our storage facilities at least about 1.5 billion litres of petrol that can last 30 days.

“It is, however, saddening to note that it is as a result of logistics that the queues have resurfaced. These logistic issues range from difficulty in transporting products from the mother vessel to the respective petrol stations; movement of products from offshore marine vessels to the stations, and disruption from Escravos channels,” Ugochinyere said.

He called on Nigerians to be patient, noting that in about two to three days, the fuel queues would disappear.

“We have gotten the assurances from the regulators in the value chain that these bottlenecks are being cleared in the course of this public holiday, and more grounds will be covered.

“From our findings, the issues that necessitated the disruptions which led to the appearance of fuel queues in petrol stations have been cleared,” he said.

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