President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday approved the constitution of a 14-man steering committee to enforce petroleum products supply and compliance with official prices.
Telescope.ng reports that this is coming as consumers of petroleum products express outrage over the worsening scarcity of the commodity amidst price hikes that have primarily become unregulated.
While some actors in the petroleum sector lauded the setting up of the committee, others said the president and his lieutenants were racing against time.
Buhari’s new moves
In a statement yesterday, Buhari who has been the minister of petroleum since 2015 when he unveiled his cabinet will personally chair the steering committee while the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva is the alternate chairman.
Other members of the committee are the minister of finance, budget and national planning; permanent secretary, ministry of petroleum resources; national economic adviser to the president; director-general, Department of State Services (DSS); comptroller-general, Nigeria Custom Service (NCS); the chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the commandant-general, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
The rest of the members are the authority Chief Executive, NMDPRA; governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN); the group chief executive officer, NNPC Limited; special advisor (special duties) to the minister of state petroleum while the minister of state’s technical advisor (midstream) is the secretary.
Terms of reference
In the statement issued by the Senior Adviser (Media & Communications) to the Minister of State, Horatius Egua, the president directed NMDPRA to ensure strict compliance with the government’s approved ex-depot and retail prices for petrol.
The committee is also expected to ensure stock management, visibility on the NNPC Limited refineries rehabilitation and track daily distribution to tackle smuggling, as part of its terms of reference.
Buhari further ordered the committee to ensure national strategic stock management, visibility on the NNPC Limited refineries rehabilitation programme and ensure end-end tracking of petroleum products, especially PMS to ascertain daily national consumption and eliminate smuggling.
To further ensure sanity in the supply and distribution across the value chain, he directed NMDPRA to ensure that NNPC Limited, which is the sole supplier, meets the domestic supply obligation of petrol and other petroleum products in the country.
The minister directed that the interests of the ordinary Nigerian be protected from price exploitation on other deregulated products such as diesel, kerosene and cooking gas.
“The federal government will not allow misguided elements to bring untold hardship upon the citizenry and attempt to discredit the government’s efforts in consolidating the gains made thus far in the oil and gas sector of the economy,” the statement stated.
Daily Trust reports that the committee is yet to be inaugurated or take off as the minister said President Buhari is expected back in Nigeria today from the 2nd edition of Dakar International Conference on Agriculture in Senegal.