By G9ija

Frantic efforts to restore normalcy in the supply of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) has seen the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva undertake an inspection tour of the facilities of some filling stations in Abuja, Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Sylva told the media during the weekend that he was complying with a directive of President Muhammadu Buhari that normalcy in the supply of PMS be restored nationwide without delay.

He said, “Mr President directed that we must ensure that the fuel supply situation is normalised quickly. And that is why I have to ensure that we sort out this problem.

“A lot of things have been done. All hands have been on deck, the NNPC Limited, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), and stakeholders in the supply chain have come together to ensure that the problem is resolved.”

On who could be held responsible for the scarcity, Sylva counselled to seek solutions first before looking for culprits.

“This is not the time for us to apportion blames as the most important thing is that the problem has been resolved and you can see now the queues are no longer there, at least in the FCT we are going around to ensure they have disappeared,” he said.

He described self-regulation, which has seen many marketers selling above approved price, in several parts of the country as a regulatory issue, within the purview of the NMDPRA, which should attract sanctions.

Biztellers reports that that several filling stations have been selling PMS at different prices per litre in different states. The popular price band per litre has been N250 in some parts of Lagos State, to N350 in Ogun State, N600 in Rivers and Bayelsa States, and N400 in Enugu, Anambra and Abia States.

The scarcity of PMS has also been fueling the infamous black market, where people make brisk business of buying and selling the product in kegs with the rate oscillating between N400 to N700 per litre depending on the location or bargaining power.

The Minister admitted that the Federal Government was abreast of the situation and would tackle the matter.

On conflicting ex-depot price, Sylva described it as commercial details under the purview of the NNPC Ltd.

He assured that he would see to it that all issue fueling these problems were resolved.

Recall that President Buhari constituted a 14-man Steering Committee on Petroleum Products Supply and Distribution management to find lasting solution to the disruptions in distribution of petroleum products.