Fuel Scarcity: Baru Abruptly Ends Trip As Fuel Queues Increase

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) insisted that there was no plan to increase the price of petrol, pledging it would avert shortage of the product during and after the Yuletide.

Baru, who was billed to receive the Forbes Oil & Gas Man of the Year Award 2017 in the British capital yesterday, flew back home to attend to what he described as a "matter of urgent national importance".

NNPC spokesperson, Mr Ndu Ughamadu, in a statement, had urged Nigerians to stop panic buying, reiterating that there was enough fuel in the nation's depots.

Nigerians, he said, should avoid panic buying and go about their daily activities.

Debo said the insufficient petrol at NNPC depots had forced most marketers to buy product from private depots.

Lengthy fuel queues were reported by motorists on Tuesday across Nigeria, including in the commercial capital Lagos, in the southwest, the northwestern city of Kaduna and the capital, Abuja, in the centre of the country.

Baru failed to appear before the committee on Tuesday, leading to a reschedule of the meeting to explain the causes of the scarcity.

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A survey by the newspaper at the weekend showed that all the over 44 depots in Apapa now sell the product far above the N133.28 exdepot price, while some sell for as high as N142 per litre at the depot.

The Chairman of the committee, Senator Kabiru Marafa, told journalists yesterday afternoon that the members would also embark on inspection at service stations across the country.

He said members of the committee would be regrouped into sub-committees to make it possible for them to visit all the states. We will not stop at that.

He disclosed that the seriousness of the situation informed the need to summon Maikanti himself.

"There is an Executive Director in charge of Downstream who oversees the downstream generally".

The IPMAN Chairman in the state, Alhaji Bashir Dan-Malam, gave the assurance in Kano on Tuesday and said the Managing Director of the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC), Alhaji Umar Ajiya, gave the directive to release the product.

"The NNPC has also been directed to look at their supply chain and inform the relevant agencies of their supplies to various stations while they work with that plan to see that anybody found hoarding the product will be sanctioned", Marafa added.

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