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Reps investigate petrol scarcity, indiscriminate issuance of licenses

House of REPS

The House of Representatives has directed its Committees on Petroleum Resources (Downstream and Midstream) to investigate the cause of fuel scarcity across Nigeria and come up with lasting solutions to the challenges.

This came after the adoption of a motion moved during plenary by the member representing Orhionmwon/Uhunmwode Federal Constituency, Edo State, Mr Bill Osawaru, on Tuesday.

The motion was overwhelmingly endorsed by the lawmakers during plenary.

Leading the debate, Osawaru noted that there has been a resurgence of fuel queues in petrol stations, with allegations of high cost of petrol and non-availability of fuel stock for downstream domestic refineries in Nigeria as well as disruption of distribution of the product.

Consequently, the House mandated the Committees to carry out a legislative forensic investigation into the resurgence of fuel queues in petrol stations, allegations of high cost of PMS, unavailability of fuel stock for downstream domestic refineries, disruption of distribution of PMS products, unfair subsidization of PMS and other petroleum products racketeering and favouritism in the Pro Forma Invoice System (PFI) regime.”

The mandate of the committees also includes probing “The indiscriminate issuance of licenses and importation of refined petroleum products, alleged return of PMS price intervention, allegation of product unavailability to marketers from NNPC Retail, endless shifting of timelines for refinery rehabilitation and the nefarious activities at petrol depots.”

The committee will also conduct “A legislative forensic investigation into the presence of middlemen in trading, indiscriminate issuance of licenses, unavailability of laboratories to check adulterated products, influx of contaminated products into the country, the allegation of non-domestication of profits realized from crude marketing sales in local banks, abuse of the PFI regime, importation of products already being produced in Nigeria and use of international trading companies to resell fuel stock to local refineries.

The two committees were also mandated to “Carry out a legislative forensic investigation into the allegation of importation of substandard products and high-sulphur diesel into Nigeria, sale of petroleum products below fair market value and its impact on downstream and local refineries as well as the source of funds for such interventions, the failure of the regulators such as NMDPRA, NUPRC to enforce compliance with standards; the lack of support to local crude refiners, issuance of import license, despite local production, and report back to the House within four weeks for further legislative action.”

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