By Patience Danjuma
The Senate has ordered state oil firm, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to, within seven days, end lingering scarcity of petrol and clear queues in filling stations across the country.
This followed a unanimous adoption of report of the Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream) on the fuel crisis in the country, at plenary on Thursday.
In the report presented by its Chairman, Sen. Kabiru Marafa, the Committee recommended that NNPC should be given seven days ultimatum to end long queues in fuel stations in the country.
The Committee expressed the need for security agencies to ensure effective border patrol to check diversion of petroleum products to neighbouring countries.
It also recommended that the Department for Petroleum Resources (DPR) should double efforts to enforce compliance with government’s regulated pump price of petroleum products.
“During our recess, the Committee moved around some cities, including Abuja and Lagos, to ascertain the situation on ground.
“When we thought that we were making progress, we just realised that the queues were resurfacing in fuel stations.
“We also engaged with the NNPC and other stakeholders and we were informed that there were challenges of supply coupled with massive smuggling of petroleum products to neighbouring countries for higher prices.
“Also, there is the problem of marketers selling above approved pump price,’’ the report stated.
In his remarks, President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, called on NNPC to ensure compliance with the resolution and endeavour to end the queues within seven days.
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