Scarcity of premium motor spirit (PMS), otherwise known as petrol, has hit the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and environs with majority of fuel stations closing for business since Monday.
But Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Ltd. has assured that it has sufficient PMS stock to meet the needs of Nigerians.
The situation extended to nearby suburbs such Mararaba in neighbouring Narasawa State, as well as Suleija in Niger State, creatingunexpectedhardship for commuters as well as motorists.
Some of the passengers, who spoketoourcorrespondent, along Masalachi Junction in Central Area, decried the development, saying apart from the increased costs of transportation, movements from one point to another have become very difficult.
“This is uncalled for at this point in time when people are still trying to recover from the yuletide expenditure. Government should not let this continue beyond today”, said a commuter, whosimplyidentifiedhimself as Ayomide.
Meanwhile, NNPC has assured that it has sufficient PMS stock to meet the needs of Nigerians.
According to a statement by GarbaDeenMuhammad, Group General Manager,
GroupPublicAffairsDivision, NNPC, there is enough stock for everyone, hence there is no need for panic buying of the product.
“The NNPC Ltd. wishes to assure the public that the company has sufficient PMS stock to meet the needs of Nigerians. The public is, therefore, advised not to engage in panic buying of petrol; and to ignore all rumours that may suggest otherwise.
“In line with the existing laws of the land, NNPC Ltd. is deeply committed to ensuring energy securityforthecountry”, hesaid.
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives on Wednesday set up an ad hoc committee to investigate the actual volume of premium motor spirit (PMS), otherwise called fuel or petrol, consumedondailybasistodetermine the level of subsidy being paid by the government.
The House Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, who announced thecompositionof thepanelalso set up another ad hoc committee to investigate the actual state of refineries to ascertain what it would cost to bring the refineries back to life again.
Speaking at the plenary, Gbajabiamila stated that the time has come for the lawmakers to intervene in the issue, saying that it is only when the investigation is painstakingly carried out that the nation can determine the actual volume of fuel that is consumed daily in the country and the amount of subsidy being paid by the government.
He said membership of the committee on fuel consumption will be headed by Hon. Abdullahi Ningi (APC, Bauchi), with Hon. Ahmed Satomi, Hon. Prof Julius Ihonvbere, Hon. Usman Zanna, Hon. Leke Abejide, Hon. Uzoma Abonta, Hon. Chinda, Hon. Henry Nwawuba, Hon. Ibrahim Obanikoro, Hon. Akin Alabi , Hon. Dachung Bagos, Hon. Maki Yalleman, Hon. Dike Chisom and Hon. Prince Obi as members.
For the state of refineries, Hon. Ganiyu Johnson (APC, Lagos) is the head of the panel, with Hon. Yusuf Buba, Hon. Fred Obua, Hon. Akinfolarin Mayowa, Hon. Haruna Dederi, Hon. Ibrahim Ishiaka, Hon. Ezenwankwo Okwudili, Hon. Wale Raji, Hon. Zakari Mohammed, Hon. Mansur Soro, Hon. Stanley Olajide, Hon. Aniekan Umanah, Hon. Olododo Cook Abdulganiyu, Hon. Comrade Aminu Suleiman and Hon. Johnson Oguma as members.
The speaker tasked members of the committees to speak to various stakeholders, and not rely on just figures being paraded around.
Gbajabiamlia said, “We will be setting up two ad hoc committees to address the issue of fuel subsidy. One will look into how much fuel we consume as a nation on a daily basis. We have had figures bandied here and there without any authenticity, before we can even begin to talk subsidy like I said, we need to know how much we are consuming. The second is to look into refineries and state of repair and determine what will be needed to bring our refineries back to life again.
“The committees have four weeks to present their report. In doing their work, they should not restrict themselves to NNPC figures, as NNPC is an interested party of course. They should go far and wide, talk to experts, talk to labour, talk to national and international experts and those who will know. Talk to the motor vehicles registration centres, we just need to determine how much petrol we consume, talk to the transport companies, deal with facts and figures,” Gbajabiamila said.