Fuel Scarcity: Federal Government Assures Nigerians Of Smooth Christmas

The Federal Government on Monday assured Nigerians of adequate fuel supply this Yuletide. It gave the assurance during a meeting in Abuja with stakeholders in the oil and gas sector.

The meeting, which held at the Presidential Villa, was chaired by the Chief of Staff to the President, Mr Abba Kyari. The meeting also discussed security plans for the season and palliatives by the Ministry of Works and Housing to ensure safe journeys.

Those at the meeting were the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mr Mele Kyari; the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola; the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu; and heads of agencies in the oil and gas sector.

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

The NNPC GMD said, “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 very sure today we have very robust supply plan not just for Christmas but beyond. We are assuring Nigerians that the NNPC has made adequate 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.”

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Fashola spoke on the palliatives for roads, saying, “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-Jaba 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.

He said, “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.

“For that reason, we have heightened the level of security within this period; not only the police, other security agencies are working together to ensure that the Christmas and even the New Year are celebrated without any criminal incident.” NARTO’s National President, Dr Kassim Bataiya, said the association would support the NNPC to ensure a hitch-free Yuletide.

He stated, “NARTO, as a critical stakeholder in the supply and distribution value chain, is committed to support the NNPC and the government in ensuring availability of petroleum products from now till the end of next year.”

The National Chairman of tanker drivers, Mr Akanni Oladiti, said, “I want Nigerians rest assured that during the coming holidays and beyond, so far as the main operator of the industry, the NNPC, has assured that the products will be available and will continue to be available, we will take the products to all the four corners of Nigeria.”

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The Director of Operations, Nigerian Army, Maj. Gen. F. O. Omoiqui, represented the Army at the meeting; while the Chief of Training and Operations, Naval Headquarters, Rear Admiral Tariworio Dick, represented the Navy. Other para-military agencies, including the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, were also represented at the meeting.

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