By Patience Danjuma
The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Dr. Maikanti Baru, on Friday boasted that the Federal Government has successfully tamed “the monster” of fuel scarcity that marred Christmas holidays across the country.
Baru said this in an interview with State House correspondents after joining fellow Muslims for Jumat service in a mosque at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said information available to him showed that normalcy had returned to Abuja, Lagos and many other parts of the country as far as fuel distribution was concerned.
He attributed the scarcity to the activities of “some greedy marketers” who he accused of hoarding and diverting products because of a rumoured price increase.
The NNPC boss said, “I’m happy to report that we have tamed the monster that reared its head as a result of the rumoured price increase about three weeks ago.
“Unfortunately, that rumour instigated a lot of marketers to be very greedy and they decided that their fellow citizens should not enjoy the Christmas holiday and New Year with ease and decided to profiteer, starting by hoarding and diversion of products.
“At the beginning, I did address the press, telling the world that we have sufficient products that will last us 30 days through the New Year into January; but because the marketers wanted to inflict harm and pains on fellow citizens, they decided to hoard products, divert them and in some cases, even smuggled products out of the country.”
“This has been tamed by the actions we took and I personally led the war around Abuja and other teams led the war in Lagos and other parts of the country.
“As of this (Friday) morning, I have gone round the Abuja metropolis and I have seen that the queues have reduced significantly to almost normal level and few motorists that I heard speaking on morning programmes concerning what I have seen said they have not spent up to 30 minutes to fuel their car.
“So, the monster has been tamed in Lagos, the situation has been brought into normalcy as far as two days ago and we are also achieving the same thing in all other cities.”
Baru reassured Nigerians that the country has sufficient products that will last for the next 30 days, adding that the government keeps bringing in 50 per cent above Nigerians’ normal consumption into the country.
As of Friday, he said, eight vessels were discharging products at various ports around the country.