By Uche Mbah
President Muhammadu Buhari has constituted a 14-Man Steering Committee to deal with the lingering nightmare of fuel scarcity, which has held the nation at the jugular during the dying days of 2022 and has spilled over to 2023.
Long queues continue to exist at filling stations, with marketers selling at their own prices of between N200 to N500 per liter. Even then, people sleep at filling stations to be able to purchase the commodity.
However, Buhari, who is the Petroleum Minister, is to Chair the Committee, while his Junior Minister, Timipre Silver, will co-chair the committee.
This was contained in a statement issued by Silver’s Senior Adviser on Media & Communications, Horatius Egua.
Egua said the committee has been mandated to ensure “transparent and efficient supply and distribution of petroleum products across the country”, among other things.
Part of the terms of reference is to see to proper stock management, visibility of programs of NNPC Limited.
Recently, NNPC was collapsed into a Limited Liability Company.
The Minister directed the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) to ensure “strict compliance with the government-approved ex-depot and retail prices for PMS”.
He gave NMDPRA marching orders to ensure that NNPC meets the domestic supply obligation of PMS and other petroleum products.
This is not the first time government is giving such marching orders. Last year, the Directorate of state services, DSS, gave a 48 hour ultimatum for fuel scarcity to end. The ultimatum fizzled out without effect.
Other members of the committee include the Minister of Finance, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, National Economic Adviser to the President, Director-General, Department of State Services (DSS), Comptroller-General, Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Member (EFCC), and Commandant-General, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC)
The rest are the Authority Chief Executive, Nigerian Midstream and Member Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), G r o u p Chief Executive Officer, NNPC Limited, Special Advisor (Special Duties) to the HMSPR while the Technical Advisor (Midstream) to the HMSPR will serve as Secretary.