Senate summons Kachikwu, Baru, others over fuel crisis

• Minister refutes report of memo to Buhari

The Senate yesterday summoned the Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Maikanti Baru, and other industry stakeholders over the ongoing fuel scarcity.

They are to appear before its committee on petroleum resources (downstream) on January 4, 2018 in a meeting that would be aired live on national television.

This is not the first time the chamber has invited Baru on the issue. He failed to show up for a December 5 meeting. “We decided to invite the GMD to come and brief on the development and enable Nigerians know the situation of things. Unfortunately, Baru informed us of his inability to honour the invitation,” committee chairman, Kabiru Marafa, had said.

The latest summons means the Senate would cut short its recess to deliberate on the challenge. The National Assembly is currently observing the Christmas and New Year break and is billed to resume committee work for budget defence on January 9, while plenary commences January 16.

Still on the elusive Prime Motor Spirit, Kachikwu has asked the public to disregard reports suggesting he wrote a memo to President Buhari on the situation.

He described the supposed memo and its content as false, promising his ministry would flood the market with products and prevent any attempt at sabotage.

A statement by the ministry’s Director of Press, Idang Alibi, notes: “Our attention has been drawn to a message making the rounds on social media of a purported memo by the Honorable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, to the President on the crisis. This is not a time for diversionary issues, as the petroleum sector is dealing with a serious national matter. We are focused on collaboratively finding an urgent solution to this crisis.”

The ministry will continue to monitor the situation and work with the NNPC and Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to solve the problem and penalise saboteurs, the statement adds.

Kachikwu also urged Nigerians to stay calm, saying the NNPC was doing everything possible to end the shortage.

Powered by Afogboja E-Creation