Govt Assures No Fuel Scarcity, Gives Conditions for Subsidy Removal
As reports of intense fuel scarcity brewed in Osun State,on Friday, many petrol retail outlets in Lagos and Abuja closed stations, creating long queues in a few filling stations that were open for business.
However, oil marketers assured Nigerians that there would be no prolonged scarcity, saying the problem has been addressed and depots are loading 24 hours, and whatever supply gap there is would be closed soon.
Reports had it that there was slight technical hiccup which the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and the marketers had already resolved. This led to the assurance that there would be normal supply, and any envisaged scarcity would be over before the start of work on Monday.
Ibe Kachikwu, Nigeria's Minister of State for Petroleum Resources also added his voice and assured Nigerians of sufficient petroleum but cautioned motorists against panic-buying. He urged Nigerians to disregard claims of looming fuel scarcity in the country, also claiming that Nigeria has gone beyond the era of fuel scarcity.
He said: “I can say that there shouldn’t be any reason for fuel scarcity. We have gone past the era of fuel scarcity. NNPC informed me when I made inquires that they imported enough.
“Yesterday, I saw pockets of scarcity in Abuja, but I was told that it was Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF) related distribution issues, and it will be sorted out as soon as possible. So, it is not an issue of lack of sufficiency. I am told they had about 28 days' sufficiency, two weeks ago; they presently have between 14 and 15 days' product sufficiency."
There were insinuations regarding the removal of fuel subsidy but the federal government has declared that there is nothing of that nature in the offing. FG gave reasons for not embarking on fuel subsidies right now. The conditions include: provision of alternative cushioning measures mutually agreed between stakeholders to protect the economically vulnerable members of the population.