By Edith Ike-Eboh
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu on Sunday assured Nigerians that there is sufficient Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), also known as fuel in the country.
Kachikwu in an Interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, said that the country had gone past the era of fuel scarcity and urged motorists to desist from panic buying.
“I can say that there shouldn’t be any reason for fuel scarcity, we have gone past the era of fuel scarcity.
“ NNPC informed me when I made inquires that they imported enough.
“Yesterday, I saw a few pockets of scarcity in Abuja, but I was told that it was Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF) related distribution issues, and it will be sorted out as soon as possible..
“So, it is not an issue of lack of sufficiency, I am told they have about 28 day’s sufficiency, two weeks ago, they presently have between 14 and 15 days product sufficiency,’’ he said.
The minister noted that the 28 days sufficiency was okay based on 50 million litres daily utilisation in the country.
“ I don’t expect to see a scarcity, I just expect them to work hard over the next few days to deal with whatever logistic issue they have. I will be working with NNPC on that,’’ he added
On queues building up in some filling stations in Lagos and Abuja, he maintained that the country was wet enough to serve the needs of motorists.
“ I haven’t visited Lagos cities, but the information I have is that there is enough product on ground and we should be able to deal with whatever it is.
“The problem with fuel scarcity is that if you allow it to last for three days , then it builds up a life of its own.
“That is what I have enforced NNPC to do to make sure that it is resolved,’’ he said.
Kachikwu noted that it would had been a major issue for the country if there was insufficient product on ground but assured that NNPC would be able to resolve whatever the situation was in a few days.
A check by NAN on Sunday in Abuja, revealed that there were no queues in most filling stations along Airport road and Kubwa expressway.
NAN reports that at NNPC outlet, Conoil and NIPPCO filling stations along airport road, motorists were buying fuel with ease, except at the NNPC mega station at the Central business district, which a short queue.
A taxi driver, Johnson Adio said “this is not a serious queue, I spent just 20 minutes before buying, it is normal with this station because a lot of people like buying from them.
“It was on Friday that we had a little problem, but it is okay now,” he said.
Also, along the Kubwa Express way, there was no queue at AA Rano filling station, Shema, Mobil and NNPC stations.
NAN also reports that only few filling stations like DAN oil along the airport and the Kubwa express way were closed.(NAN)