Senate Interrupts Recess, Summons Kachikwu, NNPC Boss Over Fuel Crisis
The Nigerian Senate has directed its Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream) to cut short its recess and immediately convene a meeting with stakeholders in the petroleum industry.
Senate President Bukola Saraki gave the directive on Thursday amid the ongoing fuel scarcity across the country, especially that of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), also known as petrol.
A statement from Saraki’s media office said the order was in a bid to end the crisis and the untold hardship it is unleashing on innocent Nigerians.
Chairman of the Senate Committee, Senator Kabiru Marafa, also briefed reporters on the steps taken following the directive in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.
Senator Marafa said the committee has summoned the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, and the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr Maikanti Baru.
According to him, the minister and the NNPC boss, as well as other relevant stakeholders in the petroleum sector are to attend a crucial meeting on Thursday, January 4, 2018.
The lawmaker further noted that the meeting would take place inside the Senate Hearing Room 221 where its proceedings would be broadcasted live.
He informed reporters that the discussion would address the lingering fuel scarcity bedevilling the nation in the last few weeks with a view to putting a complete stop to the unsavoury situation.
The Senate is presently on Christmas and New Year break.
The Upper House is billed to resume committee work for budget defence on Tuesday, January 9, 2018, and commence plenary on January 16, a week later.
Meanwhile, the NNPC has assured Nigerians that the fuel scarcity would be over before the weekend as it was already winning the war.
Baru, who addressed reporters on Thursday during an unscheduled visit to errant filling stations in the nation’s capital, said they have uncovered five illegal stations in two days.
He said illegal stations operating were also responsible for fuel crisis, as they rely on diverted products for supply.
“What I want the public to know is that in two days, we are able to identify five illegal stations that have products that obviously have been diverted; because we will not be giving products (to them) under a normal approved procedure of the NNPC.
“They must have gotten this product as diverted and if you divert any truck, you are actually diverting from legal stations,” the NNPC boss said.
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