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APC blames fuel scarcity on non-payment of subsidy, corruption



THE All Progressives Congress (APC) has alleged that the real causes of the fuel scarcity across the country is the looting of the

$12 billion domestic gas fund as well as President Goodluck Jonathan administration’s failure to pay fuel subsidy and the cost of interests on bank loans to oil marketers, thus making it impossible for them to begin another round of importation of refined petroleum products.

 In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, APC said “the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) and the Jonathan administration decided to divert attention from those problems by accusing the opposition of being responsible for the scarcity – a most laughable statement by a sitting government that is always so eager to blame everyone but itself for the nation’s woes.”

 APC recalled that the Minister of the Economy and Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala had, in February, promised to pay all subsidies owed to the marketers then in the sum of N264 billion, along with the accrued interest.

 APC said the failure to meet this obligation has made it impossible for the oil marketers, who are being owed heavily, to finance another round of products importation.

   “The truth is that the quantity of petroleum products that was imported has almost been fully consumed, without fresh products being brought in to augment supplies that have now fallen well below re-order level. The implication is that in addition to worsening power supply,

crumbling prices of oil at the international market, weakening naira and corruption, Nigerians – who routinely provide their own electricity to power their homes and business, now have to face another round of hardship with the ongoing fuel scarcity,’’ the party said.

   It said “the fuel crisis would not have reached the stage it is in now had the $12 billion domestic gas project fund allegedly not been looted. This is because, with the project being executed, many vehicles, cooking stoves and generators would have been converted to use gas to reduce the importation of Premium Motor Spirit, diesel and kerosene, and gas would have been available to fire the gas turbines at power stations while more power would have been delivered to the national grid.”

 APC accused President Jonathan of sabotaging the domestic gas project started by the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, with the $12 billion cash call provisions.

 “Late President Yar’Adua made the first allocation of $1.5 billion for this project in 2009. The amount was not spent at the time of his death in 2010. However, direct outlays through annual cash calls continued to be credited to the project account so much so that by December 2014, $12 billion had been accumulated in the same account.

 “Had this project been successfully implemented as envisaged, power generation would have improved with uninterrupted gas supply to power the turbines at power station, while the domestic consumption of PMS, diesel and kerosene would have reduced, with an increasing number of vehicles, cooking stoves and power generators being converted to use gas instead of PMS, diesel or kerosene,” the party said.

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