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Fuel Scarcity: Kachikwu Says No Evidence Yet to Sanction Marketers For Hoarding

By Ganiyu Nasirudeen

ABUJA, NIGERIA (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – As the current fuel scarcity fails to abate across the country, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu said he is yet to have a reliable evidence to implicate any marketer as the brain behind the crisis which has lasted for about a month.

Sequel to this, the Minister said the issue about sanctioning the marketers over alleged hoarding and diversion of the petroleum products by them did not arise for now.

Dr. Kachikwu made these pronouncements after a meeting between a Federal Government delegation led by the Chief of Staff  to President Muhammadu Buhari, Mr. Abba Kyari; fuel marketers; heads of the Department of State Services DSS; the Nigeria Immigration Service and representatives of other paramilitary agencies at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

While responding to journalists after the expansive meeting, Dr. Kachikwu insisted that there was no evidence to punish any marketer for hoarding PMS.

He however revealed that among the agenda for the meeting was to identify and punish the marketers who sabotage the Federal Government FG efforts to ensure the availability of the products during the last yuletide season.

The Minister also reasoned instead of sanction, many Nigerians, who have suffered, would prefer FG to find a lasting solution to the problem as well as find ”evidential basis upon which to punish people”.

Kachikwu informed further that the meeting was not a fault-finding one, rather, meant to find a lasting solution to the problem and ensure that the crisis is not repeated in line with the directive given by President Buhari Monday in his New Year’s message.

“This is a major concern that Nigerians should not be made to suffer, that Nigerians do not get through the kind of thing they went through this December” the Minister restated.

He added: “We want to find a lasting solution and that is what the committee will come out with in the resolutions” Wednesday.

Mr. President in his message lamented about the scarcity; alleged that the hardship inflicted on Nigerians due to the scarcity was caused by some syndicates and vowed that his administration would ensure that the saboteurs were not able to repeat the similar antics in the future.  

However, an intriguing dimension to the crisis is the insistence by marketers that the importation of PMS has become difficult due to price hike, and the regulated price of N145/ litre.


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