Uncovered: Jonathan behind persistent fuel scarcity
Fuel scarcity across the country has continued unabated despite President Muhammadu Buhari’s government’s efforts to tackle the short fall in the supply gap of the product.
From May 29, 2015, Buhari’s government has experienced four consecutive fuel scarcities with some of the longest queues ever seen in the history of Nigeria. Some of these periods have lasted beyond a month, leaving millions of Nigerians with the memory of continued pain and anguish.
One of such scarcities was in June, 2015 when the Managing Director of Capital Oil, Ifeanyi Ubah, had to call on President Buhari to urgently probe those behind the menace which almost grounded the nation.
It took the intervention of the Capital Oil boss to roll out his products to salvage the situation.
Another scenario was in July, 2015 barely few weeks after the June crisis, with the worst hit in November/December 2015, which coincided with the festive period when prices of goods and services had practically gone through the roof.
Presently, the nation is bedeviled with another row of scarcity as the Chairman, Petroleum Tankers Drivers, PTD, Comrade Salimon Akanni Oladiti, has accused some saboteurs in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, of been irresponsible.
Although, the saboteur’s names were not mentioned, close sources in NNPC are accusing the previous administration appointees/workers for been responsible for the scarcity and hike in price.
It should be recalled, that the All Progressive Congress, APC, National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, had in February, 2016 accused some appointees of the immediate past President, Goodluck Jonathan, in some agencies of sabotaging the efforts of the Buhari-led government.
The accusation is coming barley a month after the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, had blamed Jonathan’s administration of being responsible for the December, 2015 fuel queues which practically brought the nation to its knees.
He said, “What I will be telling Nigerians is that what we met on ground is such that we are paying for the sins of the last administration.
“I am being very serious. You remember that about two weeks ago, we had to go to the National Assembly for a supplementary budget of N674 billion.
“One of the reasons for the fuel scarcity was the inability of the last government to make adequate provision for fuel subsidy.
“We do face some other logistic problems, but majorly we are paying for the sins of the last administration,” the minister said.
Some of the listed sins of Jonathan were the diversion of N3.8 trillion out of the N8.1 trillion earned from crude oil (2012-2015), $2.1 billion Excess Crude Account unaccounted for, Department of Petroleum Resources’ unremitted 109.7 billion Naira royalty from oil firms, $6 billion looted by some Ministers of the last Administration, 160 million barrels of crude worth $13.9 billion lost between 2009 and 2012 and $15 million from botched arms deal yet to be returned to Nigeria.
Despite these numerous allegations, political watch dogs have argued that government is a continuous process and should have moved forward rather than folding its arm and blaming previous administrations for its failures.
The question yet unanswered is, what is the Minister of Petroleum (Buhari) doing to end the fuel queues?
What is the NNPC and the Pipelines Products Marketing Company, PPMC, doing to ensure onward and immediate distribution of products to other depots across the country?
What is the Department Petroleum Resources, DPR, an organ responsible for monitoring and ensuring that the product is sold at the specified price, un-adulterated, with a correct metering doing to ensure compliance?
Almost one year in power, it seems that the current government has not been able to answer these pertinent questions which brings us to the ultimate quest of when are we going to move forward?