No Fuel Scarcity This Yuletide – FG

 

The Federal Government has assured that there will be no scarcity of Petroleum Products during this yuletide.

The assurance was given by top Federal government officials during a meeting in Abuja with stakeholders in the oil and gas sector.

The meeting, which was held at the Presidential Villa, was chaired by the Chief of Staff to the President, Mr Abba Kyari.

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The group managing director of the NNPC, the Minister of Works and Housing, the Inspector General of Police, and others, after the meeting reeled out all the plans in place to ensure a yuletide with no scarcity of petroleum products.

“We are here today to take stock of our readiness for the festive period, particularly in terms of supplies and distribution of petroleum products across the country, so that this festive period will be enjoyed by Nigerians without any hitch, particularly during the Christmas and New Year.

“We are assuring Nigerians that the NNPC has made arrangement to make adequate supply of petroleum products. If there are any issue, we have come together with other agencies of government to ensure those issues are resolved to ensure Nigerians have a very merry Christmas this year,” NNPC GMD Mr Mele Kyari said.

Also during the meeting, security plans and palliatives by the Ministry of Works and Housing to ensure safe journeys were discussed.

Fashola revealing the palliatives for roads said, “The Ministry of Works and Housing has a supporting role to play here. While construction work is ongoing on some of the routes used for moving cargo, we have met with our contractors and directed them to provide some palliatives to ease the movement of trucks and tankers.

“Some of these routes include Benin-Auchi-Okene; Warri-Sapele-Benin; Ilorin-Jebba Road; and Calabar-Itu Road.

“This is essentially to say we are giving everybody the support we can to ease the problem of moving fuel during the period.”

On the security plans for the season, the IG said adequate personnel would be deployed to beef up security during and after the season.

“December is a festive period, a period when Nigerians in the diaspora will be coming to their homeland with their families. It is expected that every Nigerian is provided with adequate security for his life and property.

“We have increased the labour of security and dedicated some officers to make sure that products are moved freely without any attempt to divert products from where that are supposed to go.”

Other stakeholders present at the meeting were the National Association of Road Transport Owners and the Petroleum Tanker Drivers branch of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers.

Senate Committee summons Petroleum Minister over fuel scarcity

The Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream) on Friday invited the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke and the Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Andrew Yakubu, to a meeting on Tuesday to explain the reasons for fuel scarcity experienced in several cities across Nigeria.

The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezini Alison-Madueke

The committee also invited the Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Reginald Stanley along with other stakeholders in the petroleum downstream sector.

The Chairman of the committee, Magnus Abe, who personally signed the invitation letter, said the long queues of vehicles at filling stations noticed this week in Abuja and some cities in the country especially in Lagos “is unacceptable”.

He said “We thought that the era of Nigerians queuing at filling stations for indeterminate hours to procure PMS and other petroleum products, was indeed gone forever. It is, indeed, an embarrassment that precious man-hours are wasted in the quest to fulfil a basic need.

“What was initially perceived as a glitch in the distribution chain has now ballooned into queues in what now seems to be a gradual return to that inglorious era.

“The Senate Petroleum Resources Committee intends to engage those in charge with a view to ascertain and chart workable solutions to the challenges in the downstream sector.

“To this end, we will meet with the Petroleum Resources Minister, the NNPC GMD, PPPRA and other relevant stakeholders next week.”

N42.666 billion paid to oil marketers in 4months-Finance Ministry

The federal government has again restated its claim that indicted oil marketers are behind the industrial action being embarked by the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas workers, (NUPENG).

The union has stopped the delivery of petrol to the FCT in protest over the alleged non-payment of subsidy claims causing severe fuel shortages in the nation’s capital.

But the Federal Ministry of Finance in a statement on Friday stated that the federal government has already paid out the sum of N42.666 billion in subsidy claims between the months of April – August this year to ‘genuine oil marketers.’

The statement which sought to apprise Nigerians on key developments in the management of fuel subsidy payments, claimed that “marketers with legitimate and unencumbered claims have been paid and will continue to be paid.”

Giving a breakdown of the payment made so far, the statement revealed that:

-Between April and May 2012, Batches D/12 and E/12 involving 14 oil marketers with a claim of N17 billion were fully settled.

– In addition, since early July 2012, N25.6 billion worth of claims have been fully settled.

– In all, between April – August this year, in respect of 2012 PMS claims, N42.666 billion have been paid to 31 oil marketers.

Affirming that the fuel scarcity in Abuja is a ploy by the indicted marketers to provoke Nigerians against the government, the Ministry of Finance alleged that “it is clear that those behind the strikes are marketers being investigated for possible fraud.”

“These elements have now resorted to hiding behind the unions to unnecessarily antagonize government and create hardship for Nigerians” the statement adds.

Companies under investigation for fuel subsidy fraud

The statement further revealed the names of 20 companies that are currently under-going investigation based on their indictment by the Presidential Committee on Fuel Subsidy Payments led by Mr Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede.

According to the Ministry, the companies are been investigated “based on evidence that they may have engaged in fraudulent activities under the fuel subsidy regime.”

The report of the committee recommended that the oil marketers must refund various amounts to the national treasury.

1. ALMINNUR RESOURCES LTD

2. BRILLA ENERGY LED

3. CAADES OIL AND GAS LTD

4. CAPITAL OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY LTD

5. CONNOIL PLC

6. DOWNSTREAM ENERGY SOURCE LTD

7. ETERNA PLC

8. EURAAFRIC OIL AND GAS LTD

9. LUMEN SKIES LTD

10. MAJOPE INVESTMENT LTD

11. MATRIX ENERGY LTD

12. MENON OIL AND GAS LTD

13. MOB INTERNATIONAL SERVICES

14. M.R.S OIL AND GAS LTD

15. NASAMAN OIL SERVICES LTD

16. NATACEL PETROLEUM LTD

17. OCEAN ENERGY TRADING AND SERVICES

18. PINNACLE CONTRACTORS LTD

19. SIFAX OIL AND GAS COMPANY

20. TONIQUE OIL SERVICES LTD

Less indictment

The Finance Ministry also noted that there are other oil marketing companies with less severe cases to answer, adding that “these (companies) are in discussion with government for a quick resolution of their issues.”

Explaining the terms under which funds owed these companies will  be sorted out, the statement said, that oil marketers under investigation for possible refunds to the government, will have their 2012 outstanding claims “netted out against their expected refunds to government and those with a positive net balance, i.e outstanding claims greater than expected refunds will be processed and paid.”

“For marketers with a negative balance with government, i.e they owe government more in refunds than government owes them, the Aig-imoukhuede committee will accelerate review of their documents after the Sallah break so that their claims can be processed and settled, if cleared, without further delay.”

“For others that may not be in the above categories but who have other issues or claims, their claims will also be attended to with the same despatch.”

In conclusion the Ministry of Finance vowed to investigation the alleged role of the oil marketers in the on-going crisis stating that “we want to make it clear that Government will fully investigate their activities and if found guilty, bring them to book and recover all public funds fraudulently obtained, in the guise of fuel subsidy claims.”

“No degree of blackmail will stop the Government from doing its work. Government will, therefore, pursue justice and ensure that those who are found guilty are appropriately sanctioned” it concluded.