The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited on Thursday said the lingering petrol scarcity across the country is not a deliberate action to sabotage the forthcoming general elections.
The NNPC Group Chief Executive Officer, Mele Kyari, disclosed this while speaking on NTA Good morning Nigeria programme Thursday morning, Premium Times reports.
Last week, during a campaign rally in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, alleged that a plot is being made to scuttle the general elections.
Mr Tinubu said the scarcity of fuel being experienced across the country and the redesign of the naira, the Nigerian currency, were part of the plot to sabotage the election.
“This is a revolution. This election is a revolution. We shall take over from them. They don’t want an election to take place, but we won’t accept it. They want to hide under fuel scarcity to cause the crisis so that there won’t be an election,” Mr Tinubu had said.
But speaking on Thursday, Mr Kyari said there are very cumbersome logistics that have disrupted the supply chain of petroleum products.
“Today, based on the records on our system, there are over 38,000 trucks on our roads just carrying petroleum products and this is the reality,” he said.
“By the way, I think it is very good also to say that no matter what you do, once there is an arbitrage environment, some people will take advantage of it. And it is very contrary, we all respect the comments, I don’t think anybody sat down and orchestrated that there should be scarcity so that it will impact the election. I don’t think anyone did this. If it is so, we will know.
“But it is not true because the reality is that these glitches started well early in 2022. It has nothing to do with this election period. Once you have a challenge of this nature, it is a cyclic thing and they will continue to come up. And then once you have arbitrage issues, you will have a glitch.
“Today let me just put it clearly, our redundancy in terms of petroleum product supply is just three days in this country. When you have a glitch that extends longer than three days, you will need another three weeks to stabilise it,” he said.
According to the NNPC boss, irrespective of measure put in place, whatever causes a three-day glitch is a nightmare to tackle.
“We will always prepare. That is why we put everything possible to avoid glitches from happening. I don’t think anyone will sit down and say, let’s create this so that there will be an impact on the election and so on,” he said.