The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources admitted that the bad fuel was imported into the country due to inspection failure. On behalf of the Federal Government, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva has sympathised with Nigerians over the lingering fuel scarcity in the country.
For over two weeks, Nigerians have been struggling to buy petroleum following the importation of adulterated fuel into the country. This has led to led long queues of motorists at petrol stations across the country as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) promised to withdraw the contaminated fuel from circulation. But since the NNPC announced its readiness to recall the contaminated fuel from marketers and increased the supply of petrol into the market to bridge any unforeseen supply gap, the situation seemed to have worsened.
Reacting to the situation, Sylva expressed regrets over the importation of adulterated petrol into Nigeria. The minister admitted that the bad fuel was imported into the country due to inspection failure.
In a statement issued in Abuja by his Senior Adviser, Media and Communications, Horatius Egua, the minister sympathised with Nigerians on behalf of the Federal Government, describing the lingering fuel scarcity across the country as regrettable.
“In the last weeks, Nigerians have grappled with fuel scarcity, not because of the absence of supply of products but due to inspection failure, which allowed adulterated products into the country.
“This is regrettable, and the Federal Government sympathises with the citizenry over the unforeseen hardship, occasioned by the inevitable scarcity.
“Let me once again appeal to Nigerians to be patient with the government in finding lasting solutions to the crisis.” he said.
Sylva also appreciated the NNPC for showing concern to the plights of Nigerians by apologising to them, adding the Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority had been out on the streets to ensure that the situation normalised quickly.
He said, “This is unprecedented and shows that we on the government side are not afraid to take responsibility,” “This is a time that calls for collective action to save a situation that was not foreseen. It is not a time to trade blames as is customary in Nigeria.
“It is therefore not a time to query anyone but a time to come together to salvage the plight of the average Nigerian. “After the storm settles there will be time enough to investigate and get to the bottom, so that this does not repeat itself.”
Meanwhile, in its bid to restore the normal supply of petrol across the country, the NNPC recently said it has over 1 billion litres of safe Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) in its stock for distribution nationwide. The corporation also claimed it had started running 24-hour operations at its depots and fuel stations to bridge the gap in the supply chain. Despite this claim, long queues of motorists persists in the country.