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Fuel scarcity: NNPC, CBN mull forex for major marketers



FG to employ communities for pipelines protection

The Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu on Saturday hinted of plans to collaborate with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to pave a way for the major oil marketers to import their petroleum products for sale.

Ripples gathered that the move became inevitable following the lingering crisis occasioned by the inability of major marketers to import fuel.

“Obviously we are going to systemically look at how to prepare this nation to the circumstances where they have emergency we will be able to respond,” he said.

Kachikwu, who is also the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, disclosed this to reporters that were with him on the petrol station inspection tour at Abuja

Nigeria has been engulfed in days of fuel scarcity as the major marketers stopped importation of the products due and an oil workers strike that followed the restructuring of the corporation.

On their own, the major marketers cited high exchange rate and lack of access to the forex for fuel importation as alibi for not importing products.

The situation has left the corporation as the lone importer of fuel since then.

But he said “we are working in collaboration with the Central Bank now to try and look at long term solutions for the majors so that they themselves go back and bring their products.”

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While seeking for understanding of Nigerians that the government was making frantic efforts at ending the scarcity, Kachikwu noted the sight of fuel queues unsettles President Muhammadu Buhari.

His words: “As well as we should begin to apologize to Nigerians for this queue because nobody wants to spend two hours in a fuel queue. The president is very bothered about this and if there is anything that boarders him, it is the sight of people waiting for fuel.”

He said that NNPC now trucks in an average of over 300 trucks daily to the Federal Capital City (FCT) while some petrol stations are working round the clock to serve their customers.

The minister was hopeful that the queues would disappear in the next two days.

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