The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, on Sunday blamed the current scarcity of petrol nationwide on the diversion of the commodity by some marketers.
Nigeria has been hit by its worst fuel scarcity in months, with the 36 states and the Federal Capital, Abuja, left without sufficient supply for weeks. Queues have returned to filling stations as motorists spend days before being able to buy fuel.
Mrs. Alison-Madueke made an unscheduled inspection of 15 filling stations in Surulere, Ikoyi, Ajah and Iponri areas of Lagos.
“We have enough fuel to serve the country, the challenge we are having is that, some drivers will not supply the lifted products to designated filling stations,” the minister said.
“Having gone round the state, it is not just the filling stations at Ikoyi that appeared to be without product, but other extreme locations like Ajah and other parts in Surulere. It appears there are lots of factors militating against efficient delivery of fuel.”
The minister said she had received reports that some marketers instructed their drivers to change the number plates of their trucks to make it difficult for tracking.
“I have directed the heads of the agencies – DPR, PPMC and PPPRA – to give me a clear picture and timeline in terms of numbers of trucks coming into Lagos,” she said.
She said, “there is diversion and I want some ideas about the diversion. If we can establish there is, I want to know how this is being done.
“They need to supply me how these trucks are being tracked because diversion is not easy to do.
“They will be sanctioned and I’m ready to publish names of anybody that may be involved.”
The minister assured Nigerians that the government has a reserve stock of petrol that could last the next two weeks.