The scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, which has lingered for about two weeks, is not due to the absence of products but inspection failure, the Federal Government stated on Sunday.
It disclosed this as queues by motorists persisted in various filling stations in Abuja and neighbouring states of Nasarawa and Niger, as well as in other locations across the country.
This came as the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, expressed regrets over the importation of adulterated petrol into Nigeria and its attendant adverse impact nationwide.
In a statement issued in Abuja by his Senior Adviser, Media and Communications, Horatius Egua, the minister said inspection failure caused the scarcity of petrol in Nigeria, as he sympathised with Nigerians on behalf of the Federal Government.
He said, “In the last weeks, Nigerians have grappled with fuel scarcity, not because of the absence of supply of products but due to inspection failure, which allowed adulterated products into the country.
“This is regrettable, and the Federal Government sympathises with the citizenry over the unforeseen hardship, occasioned by the inevitable scarcity.
“Let me once again appeal to Nigerians to be patient with the government in finding lasting solutions to the crisis.”
Sylva appreciated the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited for showing concern to the plight of Nigerians by coming forward with an apology.
“This is unprecedented and shows that we on the government side are not afraid to take responsibility,” he stated. He further noted that the Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority had been out on the streets to ensure that the situation normalised quickly, adding that the government was beginning to see the fruits of these efforts.
Sylva said, “This is a time that calls for collective action to save a situation that was not foreseen. It is not a time to trade blames as is customary in Nigeria.
“It is therefore not a time to query anyone but a time to come together to salvage the plight of the average Nigerian.
“After the storm settles there will be time enough to investigate and get to the bottom, so that this does not repeat itself.”