By Edith Ike-Eboh
The Chairman, House of Representatives’ Committee on Petroleum (Downstream), Joseph Akinlaja, has urged the federal government to pay oil marketers arrears of subsidy to avoid disruption in the sector.
Akinlaja made the appeal when the committee visited the NNPC Towers on an Oversight function .
Akinlaja in a statement signed by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s spokesman, Mr Ndu Ughamadu, on Wednesday in Abuja commended the corporation for ensuring adequate supply of petroleum in the country.
“The Federal Government should do everything within its powers to pay up the arrears to forestall any crisis,” he said.
The lawmakers expressed confidence with the elaborate measures put in place by the corporation to avert fuel supply shortage and execution of the zero-fuel scarcity strategy.
“We are impressed by the presentation and we are sure there will be no war room here again because of products scarcity, you have done very well and I’m happy that Nigerians are going to travel effortlessly at this period of the year,” Akinlaja said.
He also expressed satisfaction with the improvement on the integrity of the pipelines and urged NNPC to expedite action on the remaining ones, especially those linking the Ore Depot from Benin City and to the Ibadan Depot.
In his presentation Group Managing Director of NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, reassured Nigerians of the corporation’s preparedness to ensure zero-scarcity of petroleum products during the upcoming festive season and beyond.
Baru represented by NNPC Chief Operating Officer, Downstream, Mr. Henry Ikem Obih, lauded the Committee for its support during the last fuel supply hiccups that occurred in the country from November 2017 to the early part of this year.
He disclosed that adequate measures have been deployed to avert any form of supply challenge, stressing that even if NNPC were to stop importing fuel as from today, there was enough stock of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) in the country to last for 45 days.
Also, Managing Director of the Petroleum Products Marketing Company Limited, Mr Umar Ajiya, disclosed that the company had returned to profitability with a trading surplus of N32 billion between January and November 2018.
The PPMC boss also stated that as part of the zero-scarcity strategy, the company had over 170 million litres of PMS in stock at some NNPC Depots across the country following their successful rehabilitation along with connecting pipelines to forestall dependence on private sector depots.