FG orders NNPC to end fuel scarcity before weekend

…Baru cuts short London trip as queues return

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday ordered the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Petroleum Ministry to ensure the current fuel scarcity in some parts of the country do not last beyond weekend.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, disclosed this to State House correspondents at the end of FEC meeting in Abuja.

Stressing that the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, could not attend the post- FEC briefing because of an urgent appointment, he said the minister gave FEC assurance that there was no cause for alarm.

According to him, Kachikwu told FEC that there is enough fuel in the country to last till January 2018.

He said there is no intention by the government to increase the pump price of fuel.

Meanwhile, the Group Managing director of NNPC, Maikanti Baru, has cut short his trip to London as queues returned to the country’s filling stations.

Baru was due to receive the Forbes Oil & Gas Man of the Year Award 2017, on Tuesday, but had to fly back to the country because of what he called “matter of urgent national importance”, Ndu Ughamadu, the NNPC spokesman, said in a press statement.

“For the umpteenth time, I wish to call on all Nigerians to stop panic buying. We have said times without number that NNPC has sufficient products to cater for the needs of all consumers,” Baru said before leaving London, according to Ughamadu.

Before departing the country, Baru had directed that more truckloads of petroleum products be dispatched to various parts of the country to cushion the effects of excessive demand caused by panic buying, Ughamadu said.

NNPC had on Monday said that there was no plan to increase the prices of petroleum products  “both at the ex-depot level and pump price ahead of the forthcoming yuletide”.

The NNPC said that the ex-depot petrol price of N133.38 per litre and the pump price of N143/N145 per litre had not changed and that there was enough stock of fuel to ensure seamless supply and distribution of products across the country.

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