‘Why Queues In Filling Stations May Not Disappear Soon,’ Says Kachikwu
The queues for Premium Motor Spirit (PSM), known as petrol, in some parts of the country may not disappear soon, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, said on Thursday in Nigeria International Petroleum Summit in Abuja.
The minister, who spoke during the conclusion of the Nigeria International Petroleum Summit in Abuja, also stated that the country needed $100bn worth of investments in order to revive its oil and gas industry.
Responding to a question on how he intends to ensure that the petrol queues, which are gradually disappearing in Abuja and neighbouring states, did not reappear after the close of the NIPS, Kachikwu stated that he doubted if the situation had gone finally.
He said, “Even though I did tell the NNPC to make sure that there was no queue during this period, it should have been looked at literally. It was basically saying that it’s gone on for a long time and you need to find a solution. The GMD has been very busy on a day-to-day basis and we are trying to implement whatever policies are in place currently to ensure that the queues do not come back. So I am sure we are going to continue to embed that policy.
“Has it gone away finally and for good? I don’t think so. I don’t think so in the sense that there are still a few things and there are importations taking place, there are reserves that are being rebuilt and so a bit of challenge. But I know what they’ve done is being able to manage the logistics angle very well.”
He added, “You also know that as we begin to trend into the late March period, the market dynamics change, products become slightly cheaper because of the summer and winter issues. So, what you might then have is that some marketers, who are on the fringes and who have efficiency levels, might begin to bring in a few cargoes themselves and supplement.
“But I’m hoping that before then, some of the resolutions that we have come to, which his Excellency is considering, would have been approved and it will give the NNPC a lot more leeway in terms of being able to address this issue. So I’m hoping it’s (petrol queues) not going to come back.”
The minister insisted that other marketers had to come into the business of petrol importation, as the burden was too much on the NNPC.
Kachikwu said, “It is critical that we bring back market players in terms of importation. It is too much of a burden to have the NNPC as the last supplier of the product to the country. It is not just something that can be achieved. They have done quite a lot of work this week, courtesy of the ultimatum that I gave, as they have succeeded in taking it out of Abuja.