Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke
Muhammad Bello and Chineme Okafor in Abuja
The Federal Government on Thursday said it was determined to guarantee uninterrupted supply of petroleum products during the Yuletide season.
Also, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, has said the entire length and breadth of Nigeria would receive adequate supply of petroleum products as the Christmas and New Year celebrations approaches.
A presidency source told journalists in Abuja, that: “The government is determined to ensure that there is no return of queues in the nation’s petrol station” in order to discredit the attempts being made by some unpatriotic elements to frustrate the efforts of President Goodluck Jonathan, in reforming the oil and gas sector
“The government is working round the clock to ensure that people have fuel during the Christmas and New Year period. President Jonathan has ordered the respective agencies to reconcile any problem in the distribution chain that may hinder the availability of the products during the festive season.
He has also directed the Ministries of Finance and Petroleum Resources to ensure that all outstanding issues concerning the payment of subsidy claims are resolved.”
Meanwhile, Alison-Madueke has said this would be ensured to enable motorists enjoy a Yuletide season that would be devoid of fuel scarcity.
Alison-Madueke’s promise of adequate petrol supply is coming on the heels of her disclosure that about 93 per cent appropriated in the 2012 budget to the ministry has been utilised based on the amount released to it so far.
A statement from the acting General Manager Public Affairs of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr. Fidel Pepple, stated that the minister said this yesterday in Abuja, at the 2013 budget defense before the Senate and House of Representatives Joint Committees on Petroleum Resources.
According to the statement, the minister expressed optimism that by the time the fourth quarter budgetary allocation for the ministry is released other additional capital projects captured in the current budget circle would be aggressively implemented.
“Out of what has been released so far in the 2012 budget, we were able to handle 93 percent performance and we hope that by the time the fourth quarter allocation is released within the window of procurement which is March next year, we will be able to complete all our projects which were earmarked for this financial year. So on the basis of what we have seen and done so far, we are surely on track,” Alison-Madueke said.
She spoke of her expectation for the 2013 budget, saying that key areas such as oil exploration in the inland basins such as Chad Basin and Bida Basin will be aggressively pursued and that emphasis will be placed on the implementation of the local content policy to create jobs for Nigerians in the petroleum industry.
On gas, Mrs. Alison-Madueke said the ministry will expedite action on the gas master plan, liquefied petroleum gas and development of critical gas infrastructure in order to convey gas not only to the commercial centre and gas to power but also to supply gas to remote areas of the country within the parameters of the budget given to the ministry.
“Now that the Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede fuel subsidy report has been verified and completed, payments are already beginning to go to marketers and you can see that fuel queues are lessening across the country, we will then begin to push for more supply and distribution of petroleum products across the country,” she explained.
While giving details on the current status of the Brass LNG, the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mr. Andrew Yakubu stated that despite the divestment of ConocoPhillips from the project, discussions are already on with other critical stakeholders to key into the project adding that by April next year the Final Investment Decision (FID) on the project would be taken.