President Muhammadu Buhari, who also doubles as Minister of Petroleum Resources, has created a 14-man Steering Committee on Petroleum Products Supply and Distribution management.
Buhari instituted the committee to probe and resolve the current scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), according to a statement issued on Tuesday by the Senior Adviser, Media and Communications, to the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Horatius Egua.
The fuel scarcity has led to price hikes at retail stations, with the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association Of Nigeria (IPMAN) selling above N270 per litre, even as some in Lagos and Southeast states of Anmabra, Enugu, Abia and Imo, among others, sell petrol for N300 and above.
Prime Business Africa’s market survey had also shown that due to the fuel scarcity, retailers under the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) have shut down their outlets.
In a bid to find solution to the lingering fuel scarcity, which has ironically lasted for more than eight months in Abuja, the Nigerian seat of government, and curb price hikes, President Buhari tasked the Minister of State for Petroleum Resource, Timipre Sylva, to lead the committee in supervising the distribution of fuel across the country.
Although Buhari is named the chairman of the committee, Sylva is the Alternate Chairman of the group which consists of the Minister of Finance and the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources.
Also on the steering committee are the National Economic Adviser to the President, the Director-General, Department of State Services (DSS), as well as the Comptroller-General, Nigerian Customs Service (NCS).
It was gathered that the Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and Commandant-General, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) were also named in the committee.
Other members are the Authority Chief Executive NMDPRA, Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Group Chief Executive Officer, NNPC Limited, Special Advisor (Special Duties) to the HMSPR, as well as the Technical Advisor (Midstream) to the HMSPR.
In the statement, it was revealed that the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) has been directed to ensure retailers comply with the government-approved pump price, which is N179 per litre, as well as comply with the ex-depot price.
Sylva also promised Nigerians that the Federal Government would not allow oil companies to exploit them.
“The Federal Government will not allow misguided elements to bring untold hardship upon the citizenry and attempt to discredit government’s efforts in consolidating the gains made thus far in the oil and gas sector of the economy,” he said.