Petrol scarcity NOT deliberate action to impact forthcoming elections, says Mele Kyari


The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited says the petrol scarcity in the country is not a deliberate action to influence the forthcoming general elections.


Mele Kyari, group chief executive officer (GCEO), NNPC Limited, spoke when he appeared on NTA’s ‘good morning Nigeria‘ programme on Thursday.


He said the petrol shortage situation began in 2022, adding that arbitrage has a significant impact on the product’s scarcity.


“I do not think anybody sits down to orchestrate that there should be scarcity so that it will impact elections and so on. I don’t think it happens that way if it is so. But it is not true because the reality is that these glitches actually started early in 2022,” he said.


 “It has nothing to do with this election period. Once you have a challenge of this nature, it is a cyclical thing. Once you have this challenge, they continue to come up, and then once you have arbitrage issues, you have this glitch.


“Today, our redundancy in terms of petroleum products supply is just three days in this country. Once you have a glitch that extends longer than three days, you need another three weeks to stabilise it. So irrespective of who does what, whatever causes the three-day glitch, it is a nightmare waiting to happen.


“Once we see this glitch, that is why we do everything possible to avoid the glitches from happening. I do not think anyone will sit down and say let us create this so that there will be an impact on the elections and so on.


 “There is no benefit in it. No one would do this and I can tell you this very clearly that there is no one issue, being the direct report to Mr. president, there is no one issue that bothers him like this. There is no briefing that I do to the president that he does not mention this.”


Kyari said it was out of context and impossible to link petrol shortage to the elections, noting that NNPC was doing everything in its power to control the situation.


“Yes, there are a lot of glitches. There are a lot of logistics and nightmares. Greed has come into play. There are cross-border issues that we have to deal with. There are international market situations that you have to deal with,” he said.


Recently, Bola Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), said the petrol scarcity as well as the naira redesign were attempts to sabotage the forthcoming elections.


 “Hide the petrol, hide the naira, we will still vote! We will win!” Tinubu had said.


On Tuesday, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said its logistics for the forthcoming elections may be affected by the ongoing scarcity.

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