COVID-19 Won’t Cause Fuel Scarcity, NNPC Assures Nigerians

Mele Kyari
Mallam Mele Kyari
  • FCDA shuts Christ Embassy; KSJI defers tournament

Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja and Peter Uzoho in Lagos

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) saturday assured Nigerians that the lockdown of some states in the federation as preventive measures against COVID-19 would not lead to fuel scarcity.

Also saturday, the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) shut a branch of Christ Embassy Church for conducting a secret wedding programme in Abuja.

The church was shut for violating directives banning any gathering of over 20 persons nationwide.

NNPC’s Group Managing Director, Mallam Mele Kyari allayed fear about unfounded report of fuel scarcity in his twitter handle, @MKKyari yesterday, urging Nigerians not to engage in panic buying.

Kyari said the states had consented to allow movement of petrol-bearing trucks and operation of fuel stations during the period of sit-at-home, noting that the pandemic would not lead to fuel scarcity.

He said the corporation “has made robust stock and supply plan, hence no need for panic buying. States have all consented to allow movement of fuel trucks and operation of stations during any sit at home action.

“Our stock and supply plans are robust and there is no need to buy more than you require at anytime. We will keep you supplied,” NNPC’s group managing director assured Nigerians.

Also, in a bid to comply with the stay-at-home directives on COVID-19, the Knights of St. John International (KSJI), Port Harcourt Grand Commandery, Rivers state had deferred its golf tournament, drills and all activities until further notice.

This was contained in a statement by the head of the tournament planning committee, Brig-Gen. George Ikioumoton yesterday.

The statement said the tournament was billed to hold between April 3 and 4, but now suspended due to the directives of the federal government and World Health Organisation on COVID-19.

“Sequel to the foregoing, all activities, including payments made to vendors, for services in view of the events are put on hold; to be applied accordingly when the suspension is lifted,” the statement said.

The committee urged Nigerians “to stay safe in this trying times. Remember to wash your hands frequently and maintain a social distance.”

Aside, the ministerial team on compliance with COVID-19 shut Christ Embassy Church for conducting a secret wedding programme in contravention to the directive of the federal government.

All places of worship in the FCT are banned from holding religious services by an order put in place by the FCT administration in collaboration with all religious stakeholders in the FCT.

The social distancing order which also led to the closure of markets, parks, night clubs, event centres was designed to limit the risk of people contacting coronavirus, which already is on the spike in the territory.

THISDAY learnt that the enforcement team, which was on a monitoring task at Wuse Market, acted on a tip off it received about the on going secret church service in stark violation of the order banning all churches and mosques from opening to worshippers in the FCT.

The religious gathering was dispersed by the enforcement Team A, which was led by the Chairman, FCT Traffic Management Task Team, Ikharo Attah.

The enforcement team also stopped another large wedding reception at the Police Quarters in Wuse Zone 6. There were over 300 guests at the event.

The bride and groom were just about arriving at the reception, when the team got to the scene, which was located at a residential neighbourhood.

The team also discovered that there was a partial compliance with the social distancing order by traders at Wuse and Dutsen Alhaji markets.

Also, yesterday, the Kwara State Government commended Chairman, BUA Group, Abdulsamad Rabiu and Chairman, Tony Elumelu Foundation, Mr. Tony Elumelu and the United Bank for Africa (UBA) for donating generously to fight the spread of COVID-19.

In a statement by the spokesman, Kwara State Technical Committee on Covid-19, Mr. Rafiu Ajakaye, the government appreciated N1 billion that Rabiu donated to seven states of the federation including Kwara State to boost the national response to this pandemic.

Similarly, the statement said the state government “is profoundly grateful to Mr Elumelu and the UBA for their donation of a whopping N28.5m to the Kwara State Government to combat this crisis.

“These gestures, which are a Corporate Social Responsibility at its finest, are most welcome at this critical time when government’s resources are understandably stretched because of the global oil crisis partly engineered by this unexpected health emergency that threatens the entire human race.”

The statement said the state government “needs all the help it can get to face down the pandemic, calling on other corporate bodies and philanthropists to donate to the Technical Committee to help its effort to curtail the virus.

“Donations can be made to the committee through Kwara State COVID-19 Support Bank Account 1022751448 at UBA. The corporate bodies or individuals wishing to assist the state may either pay into this account, donate essential materials for government to take care of the poor, or do their own private support to persons of their choice.