Ibe Kachikwu, Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, has assured Nigerians of sufficient petroleum while cautioning motorists against panic-buying.
The minister said this on Sunday in an interview, during which he urged Nigerians to disregard claims of looming fuel scarcity in the country.
According to Kachikwu, Nigeria has gone beyond the era of fuel scarcity.
He said: “I can say that there shouldn’t be any reason for fuel scarcity. We have gone past the era of fuel scarcity.
“NNPC informed me when I made inquires that they imported enough.
“Yesterday, I saw pockets of scarcity in Abuja, but I was told that it was Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF) related distribution issues, and it will be sorted out as soon as possible.
“So, it is not an issue of lack of sufficiency. I am told they had about 28 days’ sufficiency, two weeks ago; they presently have between 14 and 15 days’ product sufficiency.”
Noting that the 28 days’ sufficiency was sufficient, based on 50 million litres daily utilisation in the country, he added: “I don’t expect to see scarcity. I just expect them to work hard over the next few days to deal with whatever logistics issue they have. I will be working with NNPC on that.”
On queues building up in some filling stations in Lagos and Abuja, he maintained that the country has enough petroleum to serve the needs of motorists.
“I haven’t visited Lagos cities, but the information I have is that there is enough product on ground and we should be able to deal with whatever it is. The problem with fuel scarcity is that if you allow it to last for three days, then it builds up a life of its own. That is what I have enforced NNPC to do to make sure that it is resolved,’’ he said.