House of rep members in the lower chamber of the National assembly has resolved that the current fuel scarcity lingering in the country cannot be resolved by NNPC.
The House members have asked the Executive arm of government to as a matter of national urgency submit a N800bn supplementary budget to the National Assembly to offset the debts allegedly owed fuel marketers.
The lawmakers are working on the permutation that hence it has become clear that only the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) cannot import petrol that can saturate the country and end scarcity, it best option out of the crisis will be to see how independent marketers who had since the forex crisis in third quarter stopped importation will resume product importation alongside the NNPC.
While arriving at this position, the House Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream), averred that the expected N800bn supplementary budget, will among other things, offset the debts currently owed the marketers so that they can go back to their tank farms which are all dry now.
According to the Committee Chairman, Mr. Joseph Akinlaja, so far the country’s four refineries are producing little or nothing to augment the importation by the NNPC, the scarcity would continue because people would also continue to exploit loopholes in the distribution chain.
“The Committee suggested that the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association, Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association and the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria were collectively owed N800bn by the government for previous importation”.
“We observed that the mounting debts owed the likes of IPMAN, DAPMAN and MOMAN pushed them to stop importing products, leaving the NNPC alone to handle the challenge.
“This House has passed several resolutions on fuel scarcity. We have said on countless occasions that our four refineries must work at full capacity. We have said that if it is N145 per litre, enforcement agencies must be able to enforce the price.
“Now, IPMAN, DAPMAN and MOMAN, they said government owes them N800bn; they are no longer importing. Let the government bring N800bn supplementary budget, we will consider it for this problem to be over.
“Are we going for full deregulation? Let the government come out fully to say they want to deregulate. The House is ready to oblige them on any of these issues to end the scarcity.”
The Ministry of Petroleum Resources tend to suggest that government is working on another template which may end up hiking pump price before the end of next month if the situation fails to improve.