The House of Representatives have asked relevant security agencies to fish out oil marketers and other economic saboteurs who might be responsible for the fuel scarcity across the country.
The lower chamber made the call on Wednesday just as the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners, NARTO, also called for more support for NNPC Retail Limited to ensure the availability of the product nationwide.
The House’s call followed the adoption of a motion of urgent public importance by Leke Abejide (ADC-Kogi) at plenary in Abuja.
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He said the National Assembly had approved money for subsidy on petroleum products so as to mitigate unforeseen circumstances in the areas of shortages of the product.
He said over three months, there had been persistent scarcity of PMS in many parts of the country, adding that the situation appeared getting worse.
The lawmaker said there were uneven pump prices being dispensed by filling stations across the country which fueled speculations that government might have begun to remove subsidy on petrol.
He said there was the allegation of drop in petrol supply to marketers by private depots which, according to him, is creating a dangerous mindset in the country.
Abejide said the current fuel crisis could worsen in the days ahead, suggesting that scarcity of the product might not be unconnected with the increased cost of hiring vessels.
The lawmaker, who noted that payment which was hitherto made in naira was now being made in dollars, alleged that the scarcity was associated with saboteurs among some of the key stakeholders who deliberately manipulated the system.
Abejide said due to the scarcity, Nigerians were exposed to hardships which had resulted in hike in transportation fares and high cost of some major food items.
According to him, as a result of petrol scarcity, Nigerians are not finding it easy in their day-to-day livelihood activities.
The House of Reps therefore urged the NNPC Ltd as sole importer, to urgently ease off the queues in filling stations.
The House also mandated the relevant House committees to investigate the matter within 48 hours and report to the House.
It also invited the relevant regulatory authority to appear before its leadership on January 25.
Meanwhile, as more filling stations ran out of stock yesterday and as queues grew longer in Abuja, the National President of Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners, NARTO, Yusuf Lawal Othman, has called for more support for NNPC Retail Limited to ensure the availability of the product across the country.
NNPC Retail, a subsidiary of the national oil company, NNPC Limited, recently acquired downstream assets of OVH Energy, owners of Oando filling stations, making it the largest retail outlet owner in the country.
Checks around the Abuja city centre showed that most stations were without the product, and with very long queue observed at NNPC Retail’s mega station.