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Senate issues seven-day ultimatum to NNPC over fuel crisis

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Fuel Crisis

The Senate yesterday in Abuja directed the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to find a lasting solution to the lingering fuel scarcity in the country within the next seven days.

It also urged the Nigeria Customs Service and other security agencies particularly those at the border duty posts to check the alleged diversion of fuel tankers from Nigeria to neighbouring countries.

These adopted resolutions were part of the outcome of the meeting presided over by Chairman Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream), senator Kabiru Marafa.

Besides, the lawmakers also demanded explanations from the NNPC on why the fuel shortage had continued to linger with queues returning to major towns and cities across Nigeria.

Part of the resolution was for security agencies to ensure effective boarder control to prevent diversion of petroleum products to neighbouring countries.

The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) should ensure compliance with the government regulated pump price.

The Group Managing Director of the Corporation, Maikanti Baru, told the joint National Assembly Committee on Petroleum Downstream yesterday in Abuja that unless  activities of the fuel truck diverters and smugglers were  checked ensuring round-the-clock availability of petrol throughout the country may remain elusive.

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Baru had said the increasing cross-border  smuggling syndicates of petroleum products, would continue to thwart attempt to ensure proper supply of products in the country.

He lauded the Niger State Command of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) for nabbing  eight trucks diverting petroleum products to Benin Republic.

Meanwhile the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), an upstream subsidiary of the NNPC, currently producing about 200, 000 barrels per day of crude oil will increase production to 500,000 bpd before 2022, the corporation has said. 

Baru, said this at the inauguration of the board of directors of the company in Abuja.

The GMD of NNPC,  also board chairman of the firm, said the board would  grow the company’s assets and ensure that the 500,000 barrels per day crude oil production target is met.

According to him, the company was currently supplying 50 per cent of the West African Gas Pipeline system gas.
 
Baru, who commended the company for leaving up to expectations, said there was need to also boost the country’s gas asset.
 
He directed that the NPDC’s Memorandum of Understanding (MOUs) with host communities should be tied to the availability of the lines saying “as stakeholders, they share in both our success and losses as well.”

In another development, the Senate yesterday lamented paucity of fund in running the National Assembly saying, it adversely  affects the performance of its statutory functions.

It explained that against the backdrop of over funding being bandied about, it has been grappling with funding constraints over the years.

Senate president Bukola Saraki disclosed this when he paid a working visit to the Chairman and members of the National Assembly Service Commission (NASC) at their temporary office located in Utako, Abuja.


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