The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has blamed panic-buying by Nigerians, for the emergence of queues at filling stations.
Kachikwu said “The absence of product is not the issue. What is the issue is the usual panic-buying by Nigerians. The numbers of trucks that have been moved around over the last three days are in excess of 4,000, whereas the total normal utilisation yield is about 2,500 trucks. Again, there are people who store products and the DPR has sealed a lot of such stations in the last one week.”
He also explained that the N413bn subsidy payments to marketers, has been delayed, because of legislative processes.
He said “So, do we want to pay? Yes. Have we provided for the money? Yes. But do we need approval from outside the executive to implement that? Yes. So, it is going through a process. I do urge them (marketers) to be a bit patient; the President is working hard on this and I’m sure in a matter of a week, or so, you will have this issue resolved.”
Adding that ‘The President is taking time to write to the National Assembly to apprise it of the need to do this. I was one of those who pushed heavily for that money to be paid because when you don’t do that, most of their factories are closing, their capacity to import is almost zero, their staff members have not been paid for some months and the NNPC does not have the singular capacity to import all the products required in this country. So, those are the clear facts.’