For several hours on Tuesday January 2, the Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Abba Kyari, Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Maikanti Baru, and oil marketers, met in the State House to brainstorm on the recent fuel crisis and proffer a lasting solution.
The meeting called by Kyari and attended by leaders of Depot and Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPMAN) and their Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) and Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) counterparts, was spurred by fuel scarcity which stalled celebrations over the Christmas and New Year period. The meeting was held in the conference center of the old Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa.
Speaking with journalists after the meeting, Kachikwu said the meeting was called to critically examine issues revolving around the scarcity with a view to finding a lasting solution to the menace of fuel scarcity in future. He said the meeting was useful as it provided the platform to brainstorm on the development and ensure that Nigerians do not go through the pains and trauma they went through in December again.
He said it was against that background that the committee set up and chaired by him would continue with the meeting today in his office as he listed members of the committee to include: Baru, Ministry of Petroleum parastatals, members of DAPMAN, IPMAN, MOMAN and labor unions. He also said if there is incriminating evidence against those who orchestrated the fuel crisis, they would be duly punished.
“This meeting was called that involved literally all the players in the oil industry. The GMD, DG, DSS, DAPMAN, IPMAN were there. The whole idea was to do a centric analysis of what really went wrong. Like you know, for over two years, we have been out of this petroleum crisis.
‘It’s been working well, NNPC has been managing it properly and suddenly, there was this gap. So, they wanted us to put heads together to find out what went wrong. It is not a fault finding meeting. How do we take correcting measures to avoid that and what are the things that are creating the difficulties in the system? Because fuel scarcity has been ever lingering. It’s been a 30, 40 years old thing and I think it is to the credit of the president and his government over the last two years that we haven’t had any of this through policies that he has enunciated.
“So that was the objective of today’s meeting. Everybody gave ideas, everybody was collaboratively finding solutions. The GMD started by presenting what the scenario was. At least for now, it has taken away the fuel queues that you see. Then dig into the longterm solutions and everybody contributed.
“We set up a committee which I will head. Members included: the GMD, most of the parastatals in the ministry, DAPMAN, IPMAN, MOMAN, labor unions, and we are to meet in my office tomorrow and dig deeper into this thing and find a long-term solution.
“This is a major concern, that Nigerians should not be made to suffer; that Nigerians do not get through the kind of thing they went through this December. We want to find a lasting solution and that is what the committee will come out with the resolutions tomorrow (today).