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‘NNPC has good supply’ – says Timipre Sylva as he reveals the cause of petrol scarcity

Minister of state for petroleum resources, Timipre Sylva has stated that the current petrol scarcity is not a supply problem but caused by marketers.

This was made known on Wednesday by Sylva while speaking with journalists at the end of the federal executive council (FEC) meeting in Abuja.

He said the reason for the persistent long queues caused by fuel scarcity, especially in Abuja, is from marketers planning to increase the pump price.

Last month, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) blamed inadequate supply for scarcity in Lagos and Abuja.

“Frankly, it is not a supply issue, as you can also confirm. So it’s not from us. But you know, when you have an arbitrage opportunity, people will tend to take advantage of it. These are some of the fallouts of the subsidy regime,” he said.

“If you look at it, there are no queues when you leave Abuja, in most places, only in the Abuja, metropolis, you continue to have these queues. So is it that there is less supply to Abuja than to the rest of the country? It is not so. It is because if you go out of Abuja, they can probably afford to sell at higher prices, and I am sure a lot of you must be buying at higher prices, but within Abuja, because of the watchful eye of the federal government, they cannot sell at those prices. So it’s not a very attractive market for them. I think these are all things that we might have to be dealing with for a while until we’re able to fully deregulate.

“But that is a problem, it’s not a supply problem, the country is well supplied. NNPC has a very good supply. So it is not a problem from us, but it is the marketers. But we are engaging the marketers and will continue to engage them. 

“But we can’t continue as a government to increase the subsidy. We cannot continue to do that. 

“I don’t know whether there are queues in some places in Lagos, but the queues are reported in Abuja, and in some parts of Lagos, not every part of Lagos, wherever they think they can sell at higher prices. There are no queues.

“But wherever they cannot sell at prices higher than the recommended price there are queues. that is the situation we find ourselves in for now.”

The minister, however, added that negotiations are still ongoing and things will be taken care of, adding that “it is not a supply problem from the government.”

Sylva also said FEC approved the award of contracts and procurement for the provision of a conference hostel facility in Yenagoa adjacent to the Nigerian content towers for the sum of N22 billion.

The project was awarded to Megastar technical construction company with a construction timeframe of 24 months.

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