Fuel scarcity: FG inaugurates 14-man committee to tackle situation

Fuel scarcity: FG inaugurates 14-man committee to tackle situation

The Federal Government is holding meetings with midstream and downstream oil industry operators as part of efforts to build strategic fuel stocks, particularly for Premium Motor Spirit, or petrol, in strategic places across the nation.

In addition to announcing the formation of a 14-person committee to find a long-term fix for the disruptions in the supply and distribution of petroleum products; it stated that the national strategic stocks will aid in tackling Nigeria’s ongoing fuel shortage.

The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority’s Executive Director of Distribution Systems, Storage, and Retailing Infrastructure, Ogbugo Ukoha, made this announcement on the strategic stock on Tuesday, January 24, in Abuja during the ongoing stakeholders’ consultation session on midstream and downstream petroleum laws.

Speaking outside of the gathering, he said that the National Strategic Stock Regulations was one of the eight draught regulations that the authority had put together. He added that the NMDPRA and stakeholders were reviewing them.

He said, “Section 181 of the PIA (Petroleum Industry Act) compels us to develop strategic stock. On the supply issues that we usually have; recall that a few weeks ago; there was flooding in Lokoja and Bayelsa; supplies were impacted negatively.

“We should have strategic fuel stock across the country. And there is storage everywhere, even though pipelines need to be revamped. So this strategic stock regulations addresses that need, and it is a priority.”

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Ukoha added, “It takes three to four days for trucks from the coastal areas to get here (Abuja); and if something happens on the road; then you will see how it will impact on the supplies in the Federal Capital Territory.

“On Friday, we had to go to Niger State, where three trucks fell across the Bida-Lapai and Agae road. We were there to make sure that those trucks were cleared. But with the strategic stock, most of that will be addressed.

“If you have that kind of issue, you’ll just recall some volumes from the nearest fuel storage. So these are very important draft regulations that the authority is putting forward.”

The NMDPRA official explained that the midstream and downstream arms of the sector were very strategic positions in the industry; and the regulations being put out by the authority were critical.

“If you look at this third batch of draft regulations we are considering; there are eight of them and almost all of them speak to a particular aspect in the value chain,” he stated.

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