President Muhammadu Buhari has moved to find a lasting solution to the disruptions in the supply and distribution of petroleum products with the approval of the constitution of a 14-man Steering Committee on Petroleum Products Supply and Distribution management.
The Steering Committee, which will be chaired by Buhari, has the Minister of State for Petroleum Resource Chief Timipre Sylva as the Alternate Chairman.
According to a statement issued by Horatius Egua, the Senior Adviser, Media and Communications, to the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, this was made known by Sylva, who said the committee would among other things ensure transparent and efficient supply and distribution of petroleum products across the country.
Terms of reference
To further ensure sanity in the supply and distribution across the value chain, Sylva directed the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) to ensure strict compliance with the government-approved ex-depot and retail prices for PMS.
The minister also directed the NMDPRA to ensure that NNPC Limited, which is the supplier of last resort meets the domestic supply obligation of PMS and other petroleum products in the country.
He further directed that the interests of the ordinary Nigerian are protected from price exploitation on other deregulated products such as Automative Gas Oil (AGO), Dual Purpose Kerosene (DPK) and Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG).
The minister said, “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.’’
Other terms of reference are to ensure national strategic stock management, visibility on the NNPC Limited refineries rehabilitation programme and ensure end-end tracking of petroleum products, especially PMS to ascertain daily national consumption and eliminate smuggling.
Members of the Committee
Apart from the president and Sylva, other members of the committee include the Minister of Finance, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, National Economic Adviser to the President, Director-General, Department of State Services (DSS), Comptroller-General, Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and Commandant-General, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC)
The Steering Committee members also include the Authority Chief Executive NMDPRA, Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Group Chief Executive Officer, NNPC Limited, Special Advisor (Special Duties) to the HMSPR while the Technical Advisor (Midstream) to the HMSPR will serve as Secretary.
For the records
There has been a lot of confusion in the downstream sector of the oil industry as fuel scarcity has continued to bit harder in major cities across the state with the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) saying that they don’t understand what is really happening.
This was as some media reports had suggested that the Federal Government directed MOMAN and IPMAN to adjust the pump price of petrol up to N185 per litre, a claim the government later denied.
IPMAN had said that the volume of products lifted by oil marketers had dropped by 50% with the independent marketers saying that they do not also really understand what is going on.
In a related development, the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) had a few days ago, attributed the current fuel scarcity and long queues at filling stations being witnessed across the country to the exceptionally high demand for the product and distribution challenges.