KACHIKWU OFFICIALThe Federal government is working with towards finding long term solutions to the frequent scarcity of petrol in filling stations across the country, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has disclosed.

Kachikwu told journalists in Abuja on Tuesday that there were critical systemic issues which posed challenges to the seamless supply and distribution of petrol in the country that must be dealt with.

Although he did not list these issues, the state minister of petroleum who also functions as the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, explained that he was working with President Muhammadu Buhari who is the substantive Minister of Petroleum Resources to find such long term solutions to the problem of fuel scarcity in the country.

Attributing the prolonged crisis to delays in the disbursement of the subsidy debt owed to petrol marketers caused by legislative hiccups, the minister assured that they will get their money within a week or two, once the National Assembly approves the N413 billion supplementary bill it sent. He charged fuel marketers to pick up the gauntlet and activate all necessary machinery and mechanism to guarantee unimpeded distribution of petroleum products across the country.

Kachikwu also instructed the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to distribute the petrol of any filling stations involved in hoarding, to customers free of charge. He added that the queues in the stations could also be attributed to the pipelines not being able to pump effectively. He, however, said measures had been put in place to activate some of the pipelines.

By Olisemeka Obeche

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