The house of representatives has asked the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited to “urgently ease off” queues in filling stations across the country. The lower legislative chamber also asked security agencies to “fish out” oil marketers and “other economic saboteurs” that are responsible for the petrol scarcity.
The resolution was sequel to a motion of urgent public importance sponsored by Leke Abejide, a lawmaker from Kogi.
In recent weeks, there has been petrol scarcity, with filling stations selling the product for as high as N400 per litre in parts of the country.
Speaking on the situation, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) had said the volume of petrol supplied to marketers by private depots has dropped by about 40 percent.
While moving the motion, Abejide said the “persistent scarcity” of petrol in many parts of the country “appears to be getting worse”.
He said the national assembly has approved the money for the subsidy of petroleum products to “mitigate against unforeseen circumstances in the areas of shortages of the product”.
“There have been uneven pump prices being dispensed by the filling stations across the country, which fields speculations that government may have begun to remove subsidy on petrol,” he said.
“There is the allegation of drop in petrol supply to marketers by private depots which is creating a dangerous mindset in the country.
“The current fuel crisis across the country may worsen in the days ahead with the introduction of an N16.00 per litre charge.
“Another contributing factor to the scarcity of the product may not be unconnected with the increased cost of hiring daughter vessels in the hike in litre charges which hitherto were paid in naira but are now being charged in US dollars.
“The scarcity is associated with saboteurs among some of the key stakeholders who deliberately manipulated the system.
“Due to the scarcity, Nigerians are exposed to all sorts of hardships which has resulted in a hike in transportation fares and high cost of some major food items.”
The motion was adopted when it was put to a vote by Idris Wase, the presiding officer.
Following that, the house invited the relevant petrol regulatory authorities to appear before the leadership on Thursday.