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Petrol scarcity: Buhari constitutes 14-member committee to ensure supply, distribution

Petrol scarcity: Buhari constitutes 14-member committee to ensure supply, distribution
January 24
22:46 2023

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the constitution of a 14-member steering committee on petroleum products supply and distribution management.

Timipre Sylva, minister of state for petroleum resources, will serve as the alternate chairman of the steering committee, which will be led by Buhari.

Sylva, in a statement signed by Horatius Egua, his senior adviser (media and communications), said the committee would ensure, among other things, the efficient supply and distribution of petroleum products across the country.

Members of the committee include Zainab Ahmed, minister of finance; Gabriel Aduda, permanent secretary, ministry of petroleum resources; Doyin Salami, national economic adviser to the president; and Yusuf Bichi, director-general, Department of State Services (DSS).

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Others are Hameed Ali, comptroller-general of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS); Abdulrasheed Bawa, chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC); and Ahmed Audi, commandant-general, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).

The steering committee members also include Farouk Ahmed, chief executive officer (CEO), Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA); Godwin Emefiele, governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN); Mele Kyari, group chief executive officer (GCEO), Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited; Umar Farouk, senior special assistant to Sylva.

The technical advisor (midstream) to the minister of state for petroleum resources, will serve as the committee’s secretary.

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To further ensure stability in the downstream oil sector, Sylva directed the NMDPRA to ensure strict compliance with the government-approved ex-depot and retail prices for petrol.

The minister also asked the agency to ensure that NNPC Limited, which is the supplier of last resort, fulfills its domestic supply obligations for all petroleum products in the country.

He further directed the agency ensure the protection citizens’ interests from price exploitation on other deregulated products such as automotive gas oil, also known as diesel; dual purpose kerosene (DPK); and liquified petroleum gas (LPG).

“The federal government will not allow misguided elements to bring untold hardship upon the citizenry and attempt to discredit government’s efforts in consolidating the gains made thus far in the oil and gas sector of the economy,” Sylva said.

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The minister said other terms of reference are to ensure national strategic stock management, visibility on the NNPC Limited refineries rehabilitation programme, and to ensure end-to-end tracking of petroleum products — especially petrol — to ascertain daily national consumption and eliminate smuggling.

The formation of the committee comes at a time when there is heightened petrol scarcity across the country — a situation that has lingered since November 2022.

While there is uncertainty as to the reason for the prolonged scarcity, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) had said the volume of petrol supplied to marketers by private depots have dropped by about 40 percent.

Despite the disparity in pump prices at filling stations, the FG had denied increasing the price of petrol.

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