The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, yesterday directed the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to ensure that petrol queues were cleared in Abuja before Sunday.He also said that there was no going back on the target set by the country to achieve self-sufficiency in refined petroleum products and revamping the nation’s ailing refineries to 90 per cent capacity utilisation.
Kachikwu who spoke at a press conference ahead of the Nigeria International Petroleum Summit (NIPS), organised to woo investment into the oil and gas sector, said plans were upbeat on the 2019 target to ensure petroleum sufficiency in the country as well as overhaul ageing refineries. He blamed the persisting fuel shortage on logistic and policies, saying that the NNPC would work round the clock to ensure the queues clear before the summit starts next week.
“We need to do what we can to continue to sell at N145 per litre. We did a massive price hike two years ago; we don’t intend to do that again, so we need to work backward. We need a lot of efficiency and re-engineering.
“I will hate for my colleagues to come and see the fuel queues so my directive to NNPC would be to get these queues out of Abuja.’’
The minister said results of commitments in the areas of refurbishing the nation’s refineries would become realistic towards the end of the first quarter of 2018, as financials were underway to turn the refineries around.