THE Senate on Monday summoned the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, to appear before it on Tuesday and explain the cause of the embarrassing fuel scarcity across the country.
The Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream) summoned the minister after carrying out on-the-spot assessment of the fuel situation in major filling stations within the nation’s capital.
Members of the committee were confronted with long queues of vehicles at many filling stations despite the fact that the operators were not dispensing the fuel to motorists, alleging lack of supply from the NNPC Depot in Suleja.
The Acting Chairman of the committee, Senator Jibrin Barau, said the Petroleum Minister must definitely appear before his panel, to explain what led to the situation and way out of it.
He said the situation was so pathetic and bad, which made the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, to call on the committee to swing into action as a way of baling Nigerians out of the crisis.
He said, “This situation is very bad and unacceptable, hence, the need for the Minister to appear before us tomorrow (today), and unveil his plan of way out to us.
“Even if he doesn’t have any plan yet out of the lingering problem, the Senate President and the entire members of the committee are more than ready to rub minds with him for that needed purpose.”
The Senate Minority whip and a member of the committee, Senator Philip Aduda, called on the Federal Government to arrest the situation fast, by making fuel available to Nigerians.
Aduda said, “What Nigerians need is fuel and not blame game. The government should look for petrol and ensure that it is given to the people.
“This situation is very and unacceptable. We are Nigerians and it will be bad for us to continue remaining in queues.
“If the APC leaders like, let them blame themselves; that is their problem but the most important thing is for us to have fuel in the federal republic of Nigeria.
“That is what we are looking for and that is what we want. We want to see all these queues disappear.”
Petrol marketers at various stations visited by our correspondent lamented lack of supply and inadequate supply of petroleum products by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
The Manager of the Forte Oil petrol station, opposite Transcorp Hilton in Maitama District, said while only three fuel tankers were being supplied daily now, it used to be five or six before.
The manager of Oando filling station, Zone 4, Isa Friday, said it had been long since the station got supply from NNPC depot in Suleja.