The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison –Madueke, has attributed the resurgence of queues at petrol stations nationwide to the strike staged by labour and organised civil groups over the removal of fuel subsidy by the Federal Government.
She explained that as is typical of every strong industrial action and its aftermath, it would take a while for the fuel suppliers to come back on stream.
Mrs Alison-Madueke however, disclosed that the government has already swung into action and taken steps to ensure normalcy returns to the petrol market sector.
Her words: “In terms of the queues that are back on the streets, everybody is aware that we have come out of a rather hard, strong strike. And obviously when that happens, it takes a while again for the actual PMS suppliers to come back on stream, so to speak. So it will take a little while, but we are working very robustly to ensure that once again the situation is back to what it was before the strike when fuel was adequately supplied to all parts of Nigeria.”
Speaking while inaugurating the Special Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) Taskforce and Technical Committee, in Abuja, she said the team would ensure a redefinition, critical and expedient passage of the bill through the National Assembly.
While reacting to calls for her resignation as the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) probes the expenditure of the fuel subsidy, she said as a public office holder in a democratic country, she should be opened to criticisms without which public office holders cannot actually grow. She added that it would be erroneous to battle her critics instead of using their ideas to improve her office. Mrs Alison-Madueke explained that problems associated with fuel subsidy have been prevalent for several years before she assumed the supervision of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) only eight months ago.
“The problems in the sector in terms of subsidy have been there for many years. It didn’t start in the last eight months. But we are certain that with the processes we have put in place, we will get the desired result and have the place under control in the shortest possible time.
“The PPPRA came under the Ministry of Petroleum Resources less than a year ago. Prior to that, it was reporting to the Presidency. But I was the chairman of the board as it came under the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, we obviously looked at it, put new management in place and for about eight months, we looked at the performance of the indicators and all the allocations and we became rather concerned about what we were hearing and what we were seeing on ground from the performance indicators,” she said.
Asked whether the taskforce she inaugurated to be chaired by Senator Udoma Udo Udo, was not simply a job for the boys? “who exactly are you referring to as the boys? she retorted.
“You have seen the calibre of the committee that we have put together-highly respected former members of the Senate and House, who are now private people doing very well in their various works of life. You have seen the calibre of the professionals on the technical committee.
Alison-Madueke attributes petrol scarcity to strike