….Warns against hoarding, diversion

From Uche Usim, Abuja

Despite a tacit approval for petrol to sell at the current N195/litre, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) on Friday said the Federal Government has no intention of increasing the price of the commodity.

It also noted that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL) has imported PMS with current stock levels sufficient for 34 days.

But the nation has faced traumatising petrol scarcity in recent months with black marketers selling petrol over N500/litre in some parts of Abuja.

The Authority warned marketers and consumers to avoid panic buying, diversion of products, and hoarding.

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It assured of monitoring the supply and distribution of all petroleum products nationwide.

Earlier in the week, President Muhammadu Buhari approved the constitution of a 14-man committee to immediately end the petrol scarcity nightmare and return tranquility to the rancorous downstream sector of the petroleum industry.

The Committee, which the President Chairs in his capacity as the Minister of Petroleum Resources has Mr Timipre Sylva, has the Minister of State as the alternate chairman.

Other members of the committee are; Minister of Finance and Permanent Secretary; Ministry of Petroleum Resources, National Economic Adviser to the President, Director-General, Department of State Services (DSS), Comptroller-General, Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and Commandant-General, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC)

The Steering Committee is composed of; Authority Chief Executive, Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission; Nigerian Midstream and Member Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA); Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Group Chief Executive Officer, NNPC Limited, Special Advisor (Special Duties) to the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources while the Technical Advisor (Midstream) to the Minister of State Petroleum Resources will serve as Secretary.

The Committee is to  ensure the transparent and efficient supply and distribution of petroleum products across the country.

Other terms of reference are to ensure national strategic stock management, visibility on the NNPC Limited refineries rehabilitation programme and ensure end-to-end tracking of petroleum products, especially petrol to ascertain daily national consumption and eliminate smuggling.