- The executive has been urged to submit a supplementary budget for fuel marketers
- According to the House of Representatives members, N800 billion would be used to offset debts owed these markerters
- The House said it has concluded that the NNPC cannot handle the importation of petrol alone and successfully end the current scarcity
Lawmakers have called for an N800 billion supplementary budget for fuel marketers in Nigeria.
Members of the House of Representatives bemoaned the lingering fuel scarcity across the country, Punch reports.
The House committee on petroleum resources (downstream) while briefing in Abuja on Sunday, February 18, asked the executive to submit the supplementary budget to the National Assembly to enable it offset the debt allegedly owed the fuel marketers.
The committee led by its chairman, Joseph Akinlaja, said the House has concluded that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) cannot handle the importation of petrol alone and successfully end the current scarcity.
Akinlaja said with Nigeria's four refineries producing little or nothing to augment the importation by the NNPC, the scarcity would continue because people would also continue to exploit loopholes in the distribution chain.
He added that report at the disposal of the committee shows that Independent Petroleum Marketers Association, Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association and the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria were collectively owed N800 billion by the government for previous importation.
Akinlaja said: “This House has passed several resolutions on fuel scarcity. We have said on countless occasions that our four refineries must work at full capacity. We have said that if it is N145 per litre, enforcement agencies must be able to enforce the price.
“Now, IPMAN, DAPMAN and MOMAN, they said government is owing them N800 billion, they are no longer importing. Let the government bring N800 billion supplementary budget, we will consider it for this problem to be over.
“Are we going for full deregulation? Let the government come out fully to say they want to deregulate. The House is ready to oblige them on any of these issues to end the scarcity.
“The way it is, if crude oil price is going up, that is good for us as a country, because we are making more money. But, the other side of it is that we also have to pay more for the imported refined products. So, price will continue to be a big issue as long as we rely on importation."
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Legit.ng earlier reported that saboteurs have been accused of being responsible for the ongoing fuel scarcity across Nigeria.
This was made known by the House of Representatives committee investigating the operational activities of staff of the NPMC and others.
The chairman of the committee, Danalami Kurfi, noted that certain elements are frustrating the efforts of the federal government to end the lingering fuel scarcity.
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