Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr. Andrew Yakubu has attributed the short in supply of kerosene across the country to the activities of pipeline vandalism and the sharp practices of middlemen.
The GMD also identified the adulteration of diesel to kerosene popularly known as rice and beans as well as the diversion of the product to the neighboring countries as the factors responsible for its being sold beyond the NNPC price.
Yakubu said this yesterday at the House of Representatives, two-day investigative hearing seeking to unravel the expenditure and subsidy on kerosene. According to him, the landing cost of kerosene is higher than what it is sold in the market which attract scarcity and diversion of the product.
On whether the corporation plans to use Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) as a substitute to kerosene, the GMD said already the NNPC was rolling out a comprehensive programme on the use of LPG which he said is currently going on and is expected that the consumption of the LPG will go up when completed.
In his submission, Managing Director of Pipeline Product Marketing Company (PPMC), Haruna Momoh disclosed that the company has two major ways of supplying the product, one through importation from vessels and the other through local production by the NNPC.
On the issues surrounding the supply and distribution of the product to end users, Momoh said the company has discovered that the product had been diverted by contractors for industrial use mostly for roads’ construction and painting, among others.
Earlier in his opening remarks, Chairman, House Committee on petroleum (Downstream), Dakuku Peterside (APC Rivers), said the purpose of the investigation is not to find fault or witch-hunt any person or agency but to encourage adherence to the Appropriation Act, foster accountability and transparency in the system, identity challenges encountered in the supply and distribution of kerosene.
Delivering his keynote address, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, represented by his Deputy Emeka Ehedioha, noted that about 30% of all household depends on kerosene as the source of their domestic fuel, and about 56% of the population still depends on firewood due to lack of access to kerosene.
He expressed concern that if nothing tangible was done to arrest the situation, there is the likelihood that about 80% of the population will most likely come to depend on kerosene, and as such, the percentage is critical to the well-being of the entire country.