The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited has been urged by the House of Representatives to put an end to the country’s artificial shortage of petroleum products, particularly the premium motor spirit, within the next week.
The artificial shortage of gasoline, according to the green chamber, has put millions of Nigerians throughout the nation through unimaginable agony.
Members unanimously agreed to adopt a motion made by Saidu Abdulahi, which they claimed further grounded economic activity for no discernible reason.
The House was concerned that if the situation persisted, the holiday season would throw their constituents into intolerable hardship as the cost of products and services would soar.
“Intelligence reports on current fuel scarcity gathered by our security agencies indicated that there is a deliberate plan by some oil marketers to derail the effort of the government in the distribution of fuel in the country by hoarding the petroleum products, thereby creating artificial scarcity all over the country,” Abdulahi said.
“It is observed with dismay that those who are gaining from this artificial fuel scarcity appear to be smiling home as a result of this ugly development and this has the potency to provoke innocent Nigerians against the government.
“The inability of the regulators of the petroleum sector to end this artificial scarcity of petroleum products forced the Department of State Security Services to issue an ultimatum to the NNPC, and oil marketers to end the artificial scarcity within 48-hours,” the lawmaker added.
Since it appears that some oil marketers have a deliberate plan to thwart the efforts of the government in the distribution of the products, the House mandated its committees on Petroleum Resources Downstream and Legislative Compliance to ensure compliance from the NNPC and other important stakeholders with the resolution of the House.
The Nigerian Midstream Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission was also urged by the green chamber to collaborate with the Nigerian Police Force and the Department of State Services to guarantee that the basic good is sold at the set price and in all retail establishments.
The DSS ordered oil marketers and the NNPC to resolve the fuel crisis within 48 hours last Thursday amid acute fuel shortages across Nigeria, claiming the scenario was detrimental to the nation’s security.
However, it is still difficult for car owners, particularly in Lagos and Abuja, to purchase gasoline from gas stations. While most stores remain closed, the few that are open offer the essential good for up to N250 per litre more than the standard price of N169 per litre.
Long, arduous lines of drivers and business owners jostling for fuel at the few open filling stations have resulted from the paucity of supply, while some have turned to the illegal market. Traffic on key routes has also gotten worse as a result of the issue, as drivers often block at least one lane to join lines at gas stations.