The House of Representatives yesterday called for increased collaboration and surveillance among relevant agencies of the government to end the recurring problem of scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), otherwise known as petrol.
The House directed the management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) and the Department of State Services (DSS) to step up collaboration to end the petrol scarcity.
This followed a motion of urgent public importance by Rep. Saidu Abdullahi (APC, Niger) on the need for the government to end to the scarcity, which has lingered since September.
Moving the motion, Abdullahi said Nigerians had been subjected to untold hardships caused by the lingering petrol scarcity; affecting economic activities and making the already trying times in the country more difficult.
He said there had been hue and cry over the ugly development and unfortunately, those that were charged with the responsibility of taking control of the situation were not doing enough to combat the ugly development.
“This appears to be a dangerous signal that the government must tackle without further delay to restore normalcy. The lingering fuel scarcity has compounded the woes of millions of Nigerians struggling to survive as prices of items continue to make a rapid surge. It has added a high cost of living to Nigerians which surged to a 17-year high of 21.09 per cent in October,” Abdullahi said.
According to him, intelligence reports on the fuel scarcity gathered by security agencies indicated that there was a plan by some oil marketers to derail the government’s effort in the distribution of fuel by hoarding the petroleum products, thereby creating artificial scarcity.
He expressed concern that most of those fuel stations had been selling fuel at over N300 per litre.
“It is observed with dismay that those who are gaining from this artificial fuel scarcity appear to be smiling home as a result of this ugly development and this has the potency to provoke innocent Nigerians against the government,” Abdullahi said.