Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr Maikanti Baru, has expressed his confidence that the fuel scarcity crisis that has plagued the country for weeks has been brought under control.
While speaking to State House correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Friday, December 29, 2017, Dr Baru said the efforts of the corporation has "tamed the monster" that was created by greedy marketers who were hoarding petroleum products at the detriment of Nigerians.
According to Dr Baru, after the public crackdown on a host of establishments caught engaging ion dubious practices, "the situation has been brought into normalcy" especially in Lagos and Abuja.
He said, "I'm happy to report that we have tamed the monster that reared its head as a result of the rumoured price increase about three weeks ago.
"Unfortunately, that rumour instigated a lot of marketers to be very greedy and they decided that their fellow citizens should not enjoy the Christmas holiday and New Year with ease and decided to profiteer, starting by hoarding and diversion of products.
"At the beginning, I did address the press, telling the world that we have sufficient products that will last us 30 days through the New Year into January; but because the marketers wanted to inflict harm and pains on fellow citizens, they decided to hoard products, divert them and in some cases, even smuggled products out of the country.
"This has been tamed by the actions we took and I personally led the war around Abuja and other teams led the war in Lagos and other parts of the country.
"As of this (Friday) morning, I have gone round the Abuja metropolis and I have seen that the queues have reduced significantly to almost normal level and few motorists that I heard speaking on morning programmes concerning what I have seen said they have not spent up to 30 minutes to fuel their car.
"So, the monster has been tamed in Lagos, the situation has been brought into normalcy as far as two days ago and we are also achieving the same thing in all other cities."
The NNPC boss reiterated the corporation's assurance that there's enough petroleum products to last the country for the next 30 days.
Fuel scarcity crisis
The country has been plagued with the crippling crisis of fuel scarcity since the opening week of December, with fuel queues at filling stations growing longer everyday.
The NNPC has made several promises to solve the problem with the commission blaming the problem as a sabotage by marketers who are hoarding fuel.
Several sting operations by the NNPC, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and security agents have uncovered several illegal reservoirs of fuel around the country.