Worried about the implications of fuel queues at this time of the year, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, on Monday ordered the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to release all products in storage to cover for the current shortfalls that might have precipitated the resurgence of fuel queues.
A source at NNPC, who hinted at this development, said although both the minister and the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, were not in the country as at last night, Kachikwu however immediately responded to the development, having deemed it of utmost national importance. The source added that about 30 or more vessels are also on track to arrive from next week to fill the supply gap.
The source also hinted that Kachikwu probably saw this coming a long time ago, when he had been warning the NNPC that queues might return to the streets unless they pulled back and allowed private sector players improve their participation in importation, adding that the NNPC currently imports 100% of petroleum products. It was also gathered that distribution challenges faced by the NNPC have created scarcity of petrol as only 8 out of about 35 functional depots in Lagos had product yesterday.