Buhari Orders NNPC to End Queues in Petrol Stations

The Federal Government, Thursday, ordered the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), to bring an end to the lingering fuel crisis before the weekend.
Addressing newsmen on the Nigerian International Petroleum Summit, scheduled to hold between February 18 and 22, 2018, in the country, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, said the government is highly concerned about the growing fuel queues and is already working round the clock to address the crisis.
He blamed the persistent fuel crisis on logistics and policy challenges, noting however, that the Federal Government is not considering increasing the price of the commodity.
He said: “The president is obviously very committed to keeping the fuel price at the point where it is because he realises and sympathises with the sufferings of Nigerians. We did a massive price hike two years ago under me. We do not intend to do that again. We need to walk backwards. It requires a lot of efficiency re-engineering and that is one of the things the NNPC and most of the parastatals involved in this are doing.”
Kachikwu said that in order to save the nation from the embarrassment of fuel queues in the Federal Capital Territory; he will direct the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to do everything in its capacity to remove petrol queues from Abuja.
His words: “I will be instructing NNPC to do whatever it takes it ensures that I do not bring visitors here next week and experience fuel queues. They (NNPC) have to do whatever it takes to get this out of Abuja.
“Lagos is largely more fuel queues free while Abuja is still struggling because of some of the logistics issues, although there is now a huge amount of improvement.”
According to him, the fuel queue issue is both a policy and logistic issue, and the government needs to address the fundamental policy issue, especially in the area of pricing differentials to enable a uniform prices of N145/liter.
Kachikwu said that plans are in place to attain the target of 2.3million barrel per day (mbd) in 2019 and 2.5mpd in 2020.
Allaying fears, he said that concerning prices, “I do not think we need to be panicky about it. We hit an all-time $70 in December, which surprised a lot of us. And that was because of the huge amount of work done in OPEC. We are not ruffled by it. I know it is coming down to the higher $60s now”
The Minister said that “Shale is going to be active. We know that whenever we are in excess of $65, shale gets very active because the fundamentals become much more supportive to more investments and more production lines.
“I have always said that two things need to happen. OPEC needs to just focus on itself and on what it needs to do and forget about what is happening in shale. Two is that every OPEC producer must work hard to become a least-cost-producer.
“The truth is that if Shale can produce at $65, there is no absolutely no reason why we should be struggling. The fundamentals of our earnings, how efficient we are, our cost of production is work that we need to do internally.
“That does not depend on OPEC. If you look at what is happening at Saudi Arabia and UAE, there is a fundamental rejigging of their production models to ensure that they are getting the very best in terms of their prices and their cost is going down. One nice thing about low prices is that it forces everybody to abandon high cost production.
“Even for the projects we are doing today, we are looking at it again to see if it makes sense; whether if the oil in the ground is not going to yield money to the Federal Government. We are doing a lot of work on the cost aspect.
“However, we have obviously oscillated between $60 and $70. $70 was a sharp move and we were obviously thankfully receptive of it, but I am not sure that there is a lot of Minister in OPEC who would say they were looking forward to a $70 per barrel oil largely because of the effect it has on Shale and the effect it also has on laziness in terms of cost management.”

Author: News Editor

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