Kachikwu, who spoke at a town hall meeting in Lagos yesterday, said about 400 Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) petrol trucks had been sent to Lagos but only about 250 offloaded their contents.
He said the petrol tankers were able to get away with this because the Petroleum Ministry cannot monitor their activities once they are loaded with fuel.
He, however, said the government was working towards curbing the menace by installing trackers on each truck and also by registering the depots and filling stations they are meant to supply – hence, if they fail to offload the quantity required, there will be a record of the anomaly.
Kachikwu empathised with Nigerians on the fuel scarcity situation which has lingered for months, stating that “everything that touches Nigerians touches me.”
Kachikwu further stated: “We continued to hold on to the umbrella of a major importer of the product. We are working very hard to ensure that PMS supplied in this country is not diverted. We have pumped 400 trucks of product into Lagos State in the last five days. The total consumption in Lagos at maximum time is 250 trucks. These trucks are diverted from Lagos. They move from Lagos to the outer hitherland to the border and proceed to Chad and Cameroun. We need literally a whole army to stop this act. So, what we continue to do is to supply and over-supply just to cover the gap. We need people to continue to report incidents that you know. I have lost countless months of sleep over fuel scarcity.
“What we want to embark on is engaging only truckers which have trackers to make it easy for us to monitor the movement of product in the country.”
He disclosed that the average loss of NNPC, which was over N300 billion per month, had been reduced to N3 billion.
Kachikwu added that the Offshore Processing Agreement (OPA) programme had made savings of over $1 billion over a period of time. He disclosed that the payment of subsidy, which was in excess of N1trillion in 2015 alone had been reduced to near zero.
The inaugural town hall meeting, which started in Lagos and is to be held throughout the six geopolitical zones ahead of the one-year anniversary of the administration on May 29, is aimed at acquainting Nigerians and other stakeholders with the giant strides of the government.
In his opening remarks, Mohammed said it was the priority of the administration to ensure there was no communication gap between it and the governed as it had done that through several platforms, including meeting with many stakeholders.
He said bringing the officials of government in direct contact with the representatives of people from all walks of life to discuss issues affecting the polity is the best form of participatory democracy.
According to him, “This will not only ensure that the government hears directly from the people on how its decisions affect them, but will ensure that we carry the people along in the efforts we are making to keep our electoral promises, enthrone good governance and make life abundant for all Nigerians.”
He added that the administration had deliberately timed the take-off of the town hall meeting series, which commenced in Lagos, South West to coincide with the first anniversary of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The achievements recorded in the administration’s first 12 months, the challenges we face and the gains of the President’s foreign trips, especially the recent trip to China, will form the core of the proceedings here.”
Mohammed noted that government deliberately brought the ministers present because of the relevance of their ministries to burning issues of the moment to acquaint Nigerians with the administration’s successes so far.
Giving overview of what the government has achieved since May 29, 2015, Mohammed said: “Our party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), campaigned on three broad areas: Tackling corruption, ensuring the security of lives and property and, of course, the economy, which encompasses creation of job, diversification of the economy away from oil and others.”
On security of lives and property, he explained that though Nigeria has faced the challenges of ethno-religious violence, armed robbery, cattle rustling, kidnapping for ransom, militancy and violent agitations, the most daunting security challenge that the country had faced in the past seven to eight years had been the Boko Haram insurgency.