The Nigerian Senate on Thursday gave a seven-day ultimatum to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, (NNPC), to clear the lingering queues at the filling stations by ensuring enough supply of petrol nationwide.
This was explained by the Chairman of the Joint Senate and House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum (Downstream), Kabiru Marafa (APC, Zamfara Central), following the presentation of the committee's resolutions at plenary.
He also said that security agencies have been directed to adequately police Nigerian borders to stop the smuggling of petroleum products.
Mr. Marafa said the committee met with officials of the NNPC last Wednesday and queried them on why the fuel queues have refused to disappear.
"On the reasons the queues are back, they told us that it was a combined issues of the supply gap, coupled with massive smuggling across our borders which is quite alarming. Even two days ago, I saw on national television where customs officials intercepted more than 3,000 jerry cans of fuel in addition to the quantities being smuggled across the borders.
"On their challenges, they still talked about this problem of smuggling, failure by marketers to sell at the approved pump price (N145). They told us that every litre of fuel in the country today is brought in (imported) by NNPC and that the corporation still sells at the controlled price till today.
"Therefore, anybody selling above the pump price is doing so at his own risk. They also told us that cooperation was required from the security agencies", he said.
While presenting the resolutions, Mr. Marafa added that a directive be given to the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to double their efforts in enforcing price control and monitoring.
"Direct NNPC to ensure the adequate supply of petrol and disappearance of queues nationwide within seven days.
"Direct all security agencies to ensure effective border control measures to avoid the smuggling of petroleum products.
"Direct DPR to double its efforts in enforcing price control and monitoring", he said.
The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, therefore directed the committee to report back to plenary next week to confirm that NNPC has complied with the Senate's directives.