Kachikwu orders DPR to distribute hoarded fuel to Nigerians free of charge
The newly appointed Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, on Tuesday gave a directive to the Department of Petroleum Resources, ordering them to seal off fuel stations found to be hoarding petroleum products and dispense the petroleum free to the public.
Kachikwu gave the directive after a working visit to some retail outlets in Abuja.
“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,” he said. “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.”
On another development, Minister has scheduled a session on Wednesday with key operators in the downstream sector of the petroleum industry, consisting of 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.
The minister said there is 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 reaffirmed that President Muhammadu Buhari had since transmitted a letter to the National Assembly for the approval of subsidy claims.
He said once approved by the National Assembly, the Central Bank will make the funds available.
He hinted of a plan by the government to reduce the price of petrol soon, adding that marketers should desist from hoarding fuel and make products available to the motorists.