The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, on Tuesday ordered the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to seal off errant fuel stations found to be hoarding petroleum in the country dispense the petroleum free to the public.
The Minister gave the directive after a working visit to some retail outlets in Abuja.
The measure is part of a spirited federal effort to end the fuel queues in major cities across the country, and the Minister asked DPR to ensure strict compliance by visiting various fuel stations.
Ibe Kaachikwu said, “I have instructed DPR that if they discover any fuel station involved in hoarding, they should sell the products for free to customers around there. It is not just sealing the station that is the answer. It is penalizing them when they do these things. I hope the message goes out loud and clear.”
Meanwhile, the Minister has scheduled a session on Wednesday with key operators in the downstream sector of the petroleum industry, namely the Major Marketers Association of Nigeria, Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association, as well as Jetty and Tank Farm Owners Associations.
The meeting is expected to mobilise the oil marketers across the country to cooperate with government to ensure speedy clearance of the fuel queues.
“I am getting all the majors to get involved and they must take charge of the situation. They must take responsibility for all their filling stations. I have instructed the DPR and the Petroleum Equalization Fund and all the other agencies to work towards the Fast track movement of petrol bearing trucks and vessels,” he explained.
Currently, he said there was enough supply of petroleum products by the Nigerian National petroleum Corporation, as about 38 million litres of products haa been moved to various filling stations across the country help resolve the crisis.
On the approved payment of N413 billion subsidy claims to marketers, the minister confirmed that President Muhammadu Buhari had since transmitted a letter to the National Assembly for the approval of subsidy claims.
Dr. Ibe Kachikwu also stressed that there is no price reduction of petrol in the horizon and that marketers should desist from hoarding and make the products available to the motorists.
According to NNPC, figures from the daily dispatch of petrol to depots in the country indicate that 38,277,955 litres of petrol were dispatched by Pipeline and Products Marketing Company (PPMC) across the country on Tuesday.