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Ehis Agbon, Abuja, Nigeria, 3rd March, 2015.
Nigeria’s petroleum refining and distribution body have promised Nigerians an end to fuel queues before the weekend as adequate quantity of petroleum product has been supplied to gas station nationwide. Commenting on a popular radio talk show, Brekete Family Radio, monitored in Abuja Nigeria’s federal capital territory, Ohi Alegbe, the spokesperson of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation NNPC, Nigeria’s petroleum refining and distribution body, he attributed the scarcity to Pipeline vandalism and Panic buying by motorists. While cautioning the public against panic buying of petroleum product, the spokesman of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation NNPC said the corporation has pumped over 600 million litters of Premium Motor Spirit PMS for local consumption in Nigeria. Ohi emphasized that the slow pace of distribution to the vandalised product pipelines that distribute fuel to different parts of the country. He said NNPC has however commissioned fuel haulage truck to lift the products to central and northern parts of Nigeria to ease the distribution of the products. As the fuel scarcity linger on Nigerians are concerned that despite the 600 million litters provided by the NNPC the queues persists at the gas stations. Engineer Ike Chidolue, a citizens rights advocate and petroleum engineer, wondered why marketers of petroleum product intentionally refuse to pick up the product supplied by the NNPC “Marketers for some inexplicable reasons have refused to pick up the 600 million litters of fuel provided by the NNPC”. Pipeline vandalism which is a major cause of oil spillage and attendant negative impact on the environment is also believed to be responsible for the erratic power supply in Nigeria. Chidolue said power runs on gas. He stressed that gas pipelines are not profitable to anyone as crude oil pipelines are to the thieves who sabotage it. So every gas pipeline that is busted is not due to construction accident but rather sabotage. With the accusations and counter accusations by Nigeria’s top political parties some Nigerians believe that petroleum product supply and availability will play a major role in determining the voting pattern in the 28 March, 2015 presidential poll. While the opposition All Progressives Congress spokesperson Alhaji Lai Mohammed blamed government ineptitude and corruption for the scarcity the leader of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, Adamu Muazu say the scarcity was due to sabotage by agents of the opposition party.