‘Why Jonathan should intervene in prevailing fuel crisis’
The need for President Goodluck Jonathan to prevail over the controversies leading to fuel crises has been stressed, considering the effects on legacies of his administration waiting to elapse in the next two weeks.
The scarcity has forced the pump price to between N130 – N200 per litre against the official rate of N187 per litre, thereby impose untold hardship on Nigerians who suffered to purchase fuel and get transport to various destinations.
Besides, The Guardian survey revealed that fuels situations has automatically led to indiscriminate hike in transport fares and other commodities in the market, citing high cost of production.
An activist, Professor Ishaq Akintola, who also commented on the situation, said the hardship has become so unbearable that President Jonathan needed to intervene and not leave the masses to mercies of fuel scarcity at the eve of his administration.
He said: “The long queues at filling stations all over the country which began about two weeks ago have continued unabated. Travellers, particularly car owners, are stranded. Workers, many of whom have not received their salaries since November last year, are forced to trek long distances to reach their places of work.
Akintola, who is also the Director, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), said: “We are perturbed by the unending fuel crisis. We denounce the cluelessness, which has greeted this phenomenon for the past two weeks. What kind of system is the petroleum ministry running for Allah’s sake? Why must petrol scarcity occur so repeatedly? MURIC demands immediate end to the fuel crisis. This is the least we expect from an outgoing leader, unless suffering is actually what he had planned all along as his parting gift for Nigerians.”
However, Nigerians may need to brace up for a more struggle in fuel purchase, as indications emerged that the lingering fuel scarcity may last till June, after an expected smooth transition might have ushered in the incoming government.
The Guardian’s investigations revealed that the shortage in circulation of the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) otherwise known as petrol may continue till after the official take-over by the Buhari’s administration, as marketers are wary of further importation for the fear of the unknown.
Although, the Federal Government, had recently paid them about N154 billion as part of the subsidy claims, reliable industry sources told The Guardian yesterday that the marketers are now shying away from importing products due to uncertainties surrounding the payment of their N200 billion balance.
The source confirmed that they were only selling products that could be easily managed and that could not send the company to liquidation in case the unexpected happens.
The Federal Government has however set up a committee comprising the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Pipeline Product Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) and Debt Management Organisation (DMO) to verify the claims.
The Zonal Secretary, Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) arm of the National Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Tokunboh Korodo, urged the parties to urgently resolve their difference for peace to reign.