By Richards Adeniyi
The crippling fuel scarcity that has enveloped many parts of the country may be a thing of the past by weekend if the words of the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, are anything to go by.
Kachikwu gave the assurance on Thursday to a meeting of the National Economic Council (NEC) a week after the initial deadline given by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo elapsed.
And as if to reinforce the pledge, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has announced that it is expecting up to five ships, each laden with 50 million litres of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly known as petrol, in the country in the next three days.
Kachikwu promised the NEC, consisting of all state governors that the fuel scarcity being witnessed in parts of the country will end within 48 hours.
Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, disclosed this to State House correspondents at the end of a meeting of the council presided over by Vice President Osinbajo.
According to Obaseki, the minister said there is enough fuel in the nation’s strategic reserves to stave off prolonged scarcity.
“The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources assured council that within the next 48hours, fuel supply will be restored nationwide because there is enough fuel in our strategic reserves.
“He said the ministry has released fuel from these reserves and it expects distribution will reach all parts of the country within the next 48 hours,” Obaseki said.
NNPC in its announcement stated that its downstream subsidiary, the Nigerian Products Marketing Company, had increased the number of trucks that move petrol from its depots to 1,300 per day in order to prevent distribution and supply hiccups.