The Muhammadu Buhari administration finally met fuel marketers Friday to resolve a lingering fuel crisis that continued a week after the new president was sworn into office.
At the end of the meeting with the marketers and other operators in the oil and gas sector, all sides agreed to work speedily to end the shortage that has hit the hardest in Abuja and Lagos.
Oil marketers said they have dispatched 700 trucks of petrol to Abuja as part of efforts to end the scarcity.
According to a communiqué issued at the end of the meeting, signed by Taiye Haruna, permanent secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, the marketers agreed to begin to deliver fuel products to all parts of the country immediately.
The statement said the meeting was tagged “Queue must go stakeholders’ platform”.
It said that the Petroleum Products Marketing Company in conjunction with marketers, major and independent, have agreed to increase the level of supply to all retail outlets nationwide with immediate effect.
It also stated that the meeting also directed marketers to move 700 trucks of petrol to Abuja with immediate effect.
It noted that one of the major constraints to distribution was the logjam at Apapa –Oshodi expressway in Lagos.
“We have agreed to work with the Lagos State Government, Petrol Tanker Drivers (PTD) and NARTO to clear the logjam at Apapa,” the communique stated.
“Currently we have over 2,000 trucks on that road waiting to take fuel at the depot.
“Trucks are at Apapa to load products but could not get product but we fashioned out modality to clear the logjam in conjunction with other stakeholders,” it stated.
The communiqué said the measure would enable the marketers start loading and moving products out of the depot to the hinterland.
“We have enough stocks that can last for 23 days; also we agreed to set up the committee of stakeholders to monitor the loading and delivering of products nationwide.
“We have also agreed that efforts will be made to clear this long before the end of June,” the communiqué declared.
It further stated that the Petroleum Equalization Fund would track all the trucks from Apapa using the Aquila project to avoid diversion of the products.
“DPR is to ensure that products are delivered and selling of proceeds should not be more than N87 per litre.
“Government will not relent in their efforts to ensure that the challenge becomes a thing of the past.
“All stakeholders have agreed to clear the queue before the end of next week,” it stated.
According to the communiqué, it was also agreed that a task force comprising all operators be set up to look into the distribution of petrol nationwide.
The meeting was attended by the Executive Secretary, Major Marketers Association of Nigeria, Femi Olawore, and Lawson Obasi, leader of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN).
The Executive Secretary Depot & Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA), Femi Adewole; the Director, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), George Osahon, also attended the meeting.
The others were Executive Secretary, PEF, Asabe Ahmed; the Executive Secretary Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency (PPRA) Farouk Hamed, and a representative of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), David Ige, who is the Group Executive Director, Gas and Power.