Emma Amaize, Emma Arubi
and Akpokona Omafuaire
17 February 2012, Sweetcrude, WARRI – MINISTER of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, weekend, said doubt by marketers over the provisions for subsidy for petroleum products in the year is responsible for the the current fuel scarcity being experienced in the country.
She, however, assured the scarcity would soon be over and there should be no panic, as the uncertainty has been cleared.
The minister spoke to newsmen in Warri shortly after inspecting Chevron facility in Bayelsa state, NNPC, Directorate of Petroleum Resources, DPR, and Warri Refining and Petroleum Company, WRPC, on Thursday.
She said that marketers withheld petrol for the situation to be clarified, adding that Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, had been instructed , in the interim, to release its strategic reserve across the states to make petrol available.
“We have just come out of the fuel subsidy situation and we are trying to recoup. There was a certain fear of not knowing exactly what was happening in terms of the budget subsidy provision and I think it has been cleared off,” she said.
“There was issue between our tiers and marketers and they were holding back as they were trying to clarify exactly what was happening. The fuel price was N140 and it went for N97 and there was uncertainties but I know it has been cleared now in the supplementary 2012 budget.
“It is our expectation that shortly , we will start importing again.
However, in the interim the NNPC will be using its strategic reserve to make sure that PMS is made available across the states”, she stated.
The federal government on Wednesday revised the provisions of the 2012 budget and set aside N656.3 billion as subsidy for petroleum products for the year.