By Etuka Sunday
The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke has vowed to sanction fuel stations creating artificial scarcity of the product in anticipation of price hike.
The Minister embarked on intensive monitoring of fuel depots and station across Lagos at the weekend to restore sanity in the nation’s fuel supply and distribution matrix which is currently being challenged by the incidence of artificially induced fuel scarcity.
A statement by the Acting Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, NNPC, Dr. Omar Farouk Ibrahim said the exercise began on Saturday afternoon at the precincts of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport Ikeja upon her arrival from a mission to Houston, US.
The statement further said the minister was accompanied by Heads of some agencies under the Petroleum Ministry namely, the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC), a subsidiary of the NNPC.
Diezani who extended interactions with commuters, motorists, fuel pump attendants as well managers of service stations, according to the statement, said the Federal Government will apply full sanctions against any oil marketer or petroleum product dealer found culpable in the hoarding or diversion of petroleum products.
She noted that findings indicate that the challenge may not be that of lack of petroleum product but the case of wilful diversion of products by some truck drivers.
She stated that to deal with the situation she has issued directives to relevant parastatals in the Petroleum Ministry to arrest the trend.
“The perpetrators will be sanctioned and I’m ready to publish names of anybody that may be involved,” she stated and assured Nigerians that there are enough products in strategic reserves to meet demand for petroleum products and that there is no plan to increase the price of petrol for now.
Meanwhile, the nation’s Capital has also been badly hit by the fuel scarcity as motorists were seen yesterday scrambling for the product at various fuel stations.