Fuel Scarcity: Kachikwu Sets Up 14-Man Committee

The Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, has raised a 14-man committee within the Independent Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) to help in finding lasting solution to the fuel crisis in the country.

This information was contained in a statement signed by Mr Garba Deen Muhammad, the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the NNPC on Thursday in Abuja.

The statement quoted Muhammad as saying that the setting up of the committee followed the meeting between the Minister and IPMAN toward ending the crisis in the Association.

He also quoted Kachikwu as urging the committee to do everything possible to bring back peace to the Association at the national, zonal and depot levels.

The minister said that as critical stakeholders in the downstream sector, the contribution of IPMAN was crucial in the drive to end the prevailing fuel supply situation across the nation.

He also urged the IPMAN members to see the Association as one indivisible entity and charged them to work with relevant government agencies such as the NNPC, the Department of Petroleum Resources and other stakeholders.

This, he said, would help to ensure that the prevailing fuel scarcity became a thing of the past as quickly as possible.

The National Secretary of IPMAN, Alhaji Danladi Pasali, expressed members’ readiness to assist the Federal Government toward bringing a lasting solution to the fuel situation in the country within the next two weeks.

He said that “in the spirit of reconciliation and patriotism, we have resolved to forget our differences and work together toward providing products to our various stations across the country in order to ease the hardships of Nigerians.”

He added that IPMAN, which controlled a chunk of the market share in the nation’s downstream sector, would mandate its stations to operate 24 hour service in order to ease the hardships of the people.

Also, Mr Augustine Erhabor, another top IPMAN executive, commended the Minister for his efforts toward bringing lasting peace within the Association, describing the development as “a new dawn in IPMAN.”

He said IPMAN would set up teams to monitor products distribution and deliveries at all outlets nationwide.

He further assured that members would get their products at official ex-depot price so that they could sell at government approved price to Nigerians.

According to him, IPMAN will liaise with the NNPC Management to facilitate the quick loading of about 7,000 outstanding products tickets for onward dispensing into the hinterland across the country.

He urged the public to refrain from hoarding and panic buying and assured that “in no distant future, the fuel queues will vanish.

“All of us in IPMAN are united and I want to assure Nigerians that this unity will help us see the end of this prevailing situation.”

Members of the 14-man reconciliation committee were Alhaji Danladi Pasali, Mr Dibu Aderigbe, Alhaji Abubakar Maigandi, Alhaji Hemmed Fashola, Dr Leo Nkememe, Hon. Chukwudi Fred Ezinwa and Mr Ben Odjugo.

Others were Mr Andrew Ashiga, Igwe Ezekwesili Maduaguna, Dr Emma Ihedigbo, Comrade M. A. Shettima, Mr Augustine Erhabor, Prince I. Dunuje and Lawson Ngoa.

Meanwhile, Nigerians have been undergoing untold hardships following the non-availability of petrol at filling stations, making people to spend more than 24 hours at petrol stations.

The queues of cars to buy the product was another problem altogether as it had affected free flow of other vehicles on some roads in the Federal Capital Territory.

A check by NAN on Thursday found that most filling stations witnessed an average of three kilometres stretch of multiple car queues to buy the product.

The areas visited include Wuse Zone 5, Central Business District, Apo and Kubwa expressway.

At the NNPC mega station at the Central business District, NAN reports that the road was blocked due to chaotic situation at the station.

Mr Iganius Igura, a cab driver who said he regretted driving toward the NNPC Mega Station, told NAN that he had spent over 20 minutes on the same spot.

Also, Mrs Catherine Idahosa, a trader, said she had bought the product after eight hours, stressing that, “there is need for urgent intervention by government.”

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