From Femi Oyelola Kaduna
The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has said that the persistent fuel scarcity being experienced in Kaduna and neighbouring states was largely due to shortage in supply of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also known as petrol from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The zonal operations controller, Alhaji Isah Tafida while addressing the press yesterday at the Zonal Office in Kaduna, said, Kaduna state receives an average of 30 trucks of PMS per day which is below the state sufficiency requirements of 70 trucks per day.
Meanwhile, a group known as Unified Nigerian Youth Forum (UNYF), has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to sack the Minister of State Petroleum, Ibe Kachuku, Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mai Kanti Baru and the Head, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) Director General inclusive.
According to the DPR Controller, for the queues to disappear, the PPMC will need to increase the fuel supply to the state.
Alhaji Tafida has also expressed worry that despite efforts being put in place by the DPR in collaboration with the security agencies, especially civil defence to ensure that the few trucks of PMS received are sold to the public, fuel scarcity is still being experienced in the state.
“We are appealing to NNPC and PPMC to increase the supply of PMS to Kaduna state and neighbouring states in order for the queues to disappear and situation to normalize”.
The zonal operations controller has therefore warned that any marketer that engages in any illegal activity that creates problem of fuel distribution and sales will be severely sanctioned.
“Marketers who are also in the habit of hoarding fuel with the sole intention of selling at night and at exorbitant prices will have themselves to blame as the department will not hesitate to dispense such products to the public for free”.
According to him, 18 companies have been sanctioned for fuel diversion, 30 companies who hoard fuel forced to open and sell, 50 companies selling above pump price penalised and made to pay fine while 80 other companies under dispensing fuel also sanctioned accordingly.
“As a regulatory body, we are committed to discharging our responsibilities without any form of compromise.
“We commend the state government for ordering security personnels to improve on surveillance particularly within the state metropolis against those who sell at night to black marketers and bring them to book”, he said.
But, UNYF President, Abdulsalam Moh’d Kazeem, in a statement made available to newsmen in Kaduna said, “We call on Mr. President to overhaul the entire NNPC management, by immediately sacking the Minister of State Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mai Kanti Baru and the Head, Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, Director General.”
The forum noted that ongoing hardship on Nigerian’s following the current fuel scarcity, was taking a different toll on our nation.
“The unwillingness of those saddle with the responsibilities of importing, monitoring and distribution of petroleum products have further expose the lack of administrative acumen and weakness by the appointees of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“It is on record that Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, which is saddle with the responsibility of dispensing fuel product, has allegedly paid billions of naira for subsidy, yet Nigerians keep battling with scarcity for the past three (3) months, the longest in the history of this nation.
“Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, has continuously lied to Nigerians about the availability of petroleum product (invisible products).
“Why are there scarcity of PMS? Strangely, petrol is available in every other state where it is criminally sold (N220) per litre above the approved pump price of (N145) per litre except in Abuja and Lagos, the only two states the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) is practically in existence,” he said.