The Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Authority, PPPRA, has said there is no cause for alarm as fuel queues would clear by weekend.
The authority’s boss, Farouk Ahmed, stated this during the 2015 budget defence organized by the senate committee on petroleum on Tuesday.
Mr. Ahmed clarified that the current fuel scarcity was a result of issues in the sector which led to the devaluation of the naira in 2014.
“The first one that took place on November 28 devalued naira from N155 to N168 to $1 while the second one that took place on February 18 brought the exchange rate to N199 to $1,” he said.
“Marketers were not sure of the actual delivery cost and we had to draw a new template as advised by the CBN. The delay we have now is caused by the November devaluation.”
He explained that the Ministry of Finance, PPPRA and other agencies were working closely to ensure that outstanding bills were paid.
According to the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, the scarcity would persist until the government facilitates subsidy claims.
Meanwhile, the senate committee has summoned the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation and other subsidiaries under the corporation to appear before it on March 5.
The corporation had failed to appear before the committee for the 2015 budget defence, which angered the chairman, Magnus Ibe.
Mr Ibe complained about NNPC’s absence, stating that it was not the first time it was happening and no one was above the law.
He expressed his disappointment with NNPC, noting that the budget defence would have been the right medium to explain the reasons for the fuel scarcity across Nigeria.
“We invited NNPC to attend this session to brief us on budget; the corporation did not have the decency to acknowledge this letter,” Mr. Ibe said. “I am directing the clerk to re-issue another invitation to NNPC, to all the refineries, Department for Petroleum Resources and PPMC. All of them must come individually and they must all bring their budget performance for last year and their budget for this year.”
He said the committee would not tolerate disrespect from NNPC.
“The constitution is very clear and we all have our constitutional roles and responsibilities,” Mr. Ibe said. “Nobody in this country is above the constitution so there should be a very strong warning to NNPC never to repeat this kind of behaviour to this committee.”
Danjuma Goje representing Gombe Central also expressed his displeasure at the absence of the NNPC and other MDAs at such a critical time when the country was experiencing fuel scarcity.