PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, to ensure the pump price of fuel is not increased above the current price of N145 per litre.
The Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, disclosed this to State House correspondents after observing jumaat service with Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He boasted that the Federal Government has successfully tamed “the monster” of fuel scarcity that marred the Christmas holidays across the country.
Baru stated that information at his disposal showed that normalcy had returned to Abuja, Lagos and many other parts of the country as far as fuel distribution was concerned.
While attributing the scarcity to the activities of “some greedy marketers” hoarding and diverting products because of a rumoured price increase, he averred that any marketer found hoarding fuel or selling above the official price will be punished.
According to him, “I’m happy to report that we have tamed the monster that reared its head as a result of the rumoured price increase about three weeks ago.
“Fortunately that rumour instigated a lot of marketers to be very greedy and they decided that their fellow citizens should not enjoy the Christmas holiday and New Year with ease. They decided to profiteer by hoarding and diverting products.
“At the beginning I did address the press, telling the world that we have sufficient products that would last us 30 days through the New Year into January but because the marketers wanted to inflict harm and pains on fellow citizens, they decided to hoard products, divert them and in some cases even smuggle products out of the country.
“This has been tamed by the actions we took and I personally led the war around Abuja and other teams led the war in Lagos and other parts of the country.
“As of this morning, I have gone round the Abuja metropolis and I have seen that the queues have reduced significantly to almost normal level and few motorists that I heard speaking on a morning programme concerning what I have seen said they have not spent up to 30 minutes to fuel their car.
“So the monster has been tamed in Lagos, the situation has been brought into normalcy as far as two days ago and we are also achieving the same thing in all other cities.
“I promise that we have sufficient products that would last us for the next 30 days and we keep bringing in 50 per cent over and above our normal consumption into the country. And vessels have been lined up, at the moment I have eight vessels discharging products at various ports around the country.
“So Nigerians should enjoy the New Year and that Mr. President’s directive and guidance which has been very helping has been executed and normalcy has returned.
“Those marketers that have hidden products in odd locations you better bring them out and sell to the public at N145 per liter maximum. If NNPC sold it to you at N133.28, you have sufficient margin within that ambit to be able to supply and sell to the public at maximum N145 per liter.
“The NNPC are selling at N143 per liter so you should be able to sell at N145 per liter. If you go above that, the regulator, DPR and PPPRA with the support of law enforcement agencies particularly the civil defence, will make sure that the products are confiscated and given free to the public.
“This is the directive that we are working on by Mr. President and is being executed to the later. Bring them out and sell these products, we don’t have any shortage and we are making massive loadings.
“Normally we should be able to have 850 trucks to satisfy the National consumption but as at yesterday we loaded 1,750 trucks to go around the country. So we will continue massive load out until we reached the former position whereby all the stations will have products and truck siding,” he said.