The Federal Government has assured that there will be enough supply of petroleum products during the Yuletide season, for a hitch free celebration.
It also secured the commitment of security agencies to stall products diversion, security of life and property during the period, as well as conducive environment for operators to operate.
The commitment was secured at a stakeholders meeting on supplies of petroleum products during the Yuletide season, chaired by the Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, on Monday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The stakeholders cut across government, security agencies, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), National President of Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) and Petroleum Tanker Drivers branch of Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG).
In his remarks, the Group Managing Director (GMD), NNPC, Mele Kyari said there are enough supplies for the celebration period, adding that the NNPC has made adequate arrangement for adequate supply of petroleum products.
He said: “We are here today to take stock of our readiness for the festive period, particularly in terms of supplies and distribution of petroleum products across the country, so that this festive period will be enjoyed by Nigerians without any hitch, particularly the Christmas and New Year.
“We are very sure today that we have very robust supply plan not just for Christmas but beyond. We are assuring Nigerians that the NNPC has made adequate arrangement for adequate supply of petroleum products. If there are any issue, we have come together with other agencies of government to ensure those issues are resolved, to ensure Nigerians have a very Merry Christmas this year.”
Also speaking, the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said his ministry is collaborating with contractors to provide palliatives on the routes that petroleum products will be ferried through.
According to him, “the ministry of works and housing has a supporting role to play here, while construction work is on going on some of the routes used for moving cargo. We have met with our contractors and directed them to provide some palliative measures to ease the movement of trucks and tankers. Some of these routes include Benin-Auchi-Okene, Warri-Sapele-Benin, Ilorin-Jaba road, Calabar-Itu road and other roads.”
On his part, The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Muhammed Adamu, said the level of security has increased to ensure the products are not deviated, leading to scarcity.
He said: “December is a festive period, a period where Nigerians in diaspora will be coming to their homeland with their families, it is expected that every Nigerian is provided with adequate security of his life and property. For that reason, we have heightened the level of security within this period, not only the police, but other security agencies are working together to ensure that the Christmas and even the new year is celebrated without any criminal incidents. And at the same time Nigerians will have to move about freely with the availability of petroleum. And for that reason the NNPC and the petroleum transport owners association, NUPENG and others have come together to work with us to make sure that products are moved freely to cover the whole country without any bridge.
“In that area, we have again increased the level of security, dedicated some officers to make sure that products are moved freely without any attempt to divert products from where they are suppose to go.
“We have gotten commitment also from tanker drivers that we will work seriously with their drivers, to make sure that nobody incites them or motivates them to divert products from where it is suppose to go.
“So we are assuring Nigerians that the Christmas will be crime free, petroleum products will be available to everybody and it will move from one part of the country to the other.”
The National President of Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), Dr. Kassim Ibrahim Bataiya, said: “NARTO as a critical stakeholder in the supply and distribution value chain, is committed to support NNPC and the government in ensuring availability of petroleum products from now till the end of next year.
“We are committed and we have all our trucks available and ready for lifting petroleum products from now till the end of next year, most especially now that we have the assurance of the GMD that there is availability of products in all the depots, from the IGP that our roads will be secured and the environment conducive for us to operate.”