Kachikwu: It's a shame that Nigeria can't refine its oil

FG plans to increase fuel price to N180 per litre

Similarly, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, says the Federal Government is working assiduously to revamp the country's refineries to address the problems of fuel crisis.

The meeting, which was presided over by the Chief of Staff to the President, Alhaji Abba Kyari, wss held at the old Banquet hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Dr. Ibe Kachikwu disclosed this during a presentation to a joint committee on Petroleum (Downstream) of the Senate and the House of Representatives on Thursday. "So we will need to find that evidence, we will definitely punish those who were doing things that are wrong, but more fundamental and more importantly is that we want to find lasting solutions and we all want to work more collaboratively".

Representatives of the Independent petroleum marketers of Nigeria IPMAN and Depot and petroleum marketers of Nigeria DAPMAN denied reports that the current fuel scarcity was as a result of blackmail by Marketers saying that since October previous year petroleum marketers have been unable to import petrol due to hike in the landing cost of crude.

According to him, part of the reasons for scarcity are the strike by the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria on December 18, smuggling due mainly to price arbitrage, false threat of price hike by NNPC leading to hoarding, diversion and smuggling and insinuation of supply gap.

"But the greatest hard in Nigeria is that people make allegations but when you ask for evidence even one, everybody now goes back into the safety nets".

The chairman of DAPPMAN, Dapo Abiodun, said the meeting was important, as it gave all participants opportunity to find out what really caused the scarcity.

The Federal Government on Tuesday met with major oil marketers in the country in Nigeria's capital, Abuja. He wanted to know the truth and to ensure that going forward this problem will be solved once and for all.

"From our point of view as marketers, we made our submissions known to government and we emphasized the fact that this was not a marketer-related problem".

He said there was no evidence to punish any marketer for hoarding petrol, assuring all stakeholders that part of the demands of the meeting was to name marketers who erred.

"While we commend those responsible for this, they must also see to it that an end is put to the continued exploitation of Nigerians by these stations which still sell above the official price per litre".

He said that government had mapped out strategies to ensure availability of petrol which will be sold the at the government-regulated price.

While stating that marketers did not hoard fuel contrary to the belief in many quarters, he explained that since the price of crude oil went up as a result of Hurricane Harvey in the United States in September, the marketers could no longer import and sell at a controlled price of N145 per litre.

Another IPMAN leader, Aminu Abdulkadir, said he was optimistic that there would be full disclosure on plans and ways of augmenting marketers shortfall, to enable them resume importation of products, since NNPC alone did not have all the capacity to handle the situation.

Although the NNPC is supposed to supply 50 per cent of the products to complement the marketers, no other group is able to import petrol now because of the price.

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