Fuel subsidy: Rights group decry suffering of Nigerians, urges overhaul of NNPCL
A coalition of civil societies organizations (CSOs) have decried the hardship faced by Nigerians over the government’s decision to remove fuel subsidy.
Led by Comrade Danesi Momoh, the group called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to apply the sledgehammer on those associated with the theft of subsidy monies running into trillions of naira over the years.
The group comprising Empowerment for Unemployed Youth Initiative, Public Accountability Situation Room, Guardians of Democracy and Development Initiative and Independent Public Service Accountability Watch called for the immediate overhaul of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL).
The group at a press conference in Abuja particularly demanded the sack of the NNPCL Group Managing Director, Engr Mele Kyari over his alleged failure to curtail the abuse of the fuel subsidy regime.
“We can no longer be patient with the President for allowing the man who headed the subsidy scam cartel to continue in office and probably running other scams. We cannot also understand the rationale for his continued stay,” they noted.
“Or is Mr President trying to tell us that Kyari could have presided over a scam of the magnitude that crumbled our economy and left us in huge debts without partaking in it? That will be added into records as one of the Wonders of the World.
“Sadly, it appears Mr President is shying away from the real issues. He appears to be more willing in punishing the poor than addressing the problem by sanctioning those who benefitted from the criminality that eventually brought Nigeria to this groaning state.”
Continuing, the group contended: “We, therefore, ask Mr President once again to let the poor breathe. He should stop suffocating us.
Suffocate those that suffocated the economy instead. Let Mr President kill corruption rather than killing
“Therefore we urge you again Mr. President, sack Mr Mele Kyari now! Actually, the entire NNPCL needs to be completely overhauled. But the place to start is by removing the Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr Mele Kyari whose activities in the NNPCL leave much to be desired.
“Under his watch, landing cost of imported refined products were inflated, subsidy was deliberately over paid and we magically consumed over 100 % above our actual daily consumption. All the excuse that was given was that the products were smuggled.
“The bane for an obvious criminality that no one has denied was thus shifted to the Nigerian Immigration Service, other security agencies and porous borders. Of course, there was smuggling, but more fraud occurred with product round tripping and deliberate inflation of product figures.
“And in any case, with the volume of products that was claimed to have been smuggled daily, it simply shows that Mr Kyari lacks innovation to ead the NNPCL. Why was he more interested in allowing Nigeria lose billions of Naira daily than operating a tracking system in which it was impossible for any tanker loaded with products to cross the Nigerian border undetected?
” Your guess is as good as ours. The so called smugglers and NNPC or NNPCL appeared to have been one or partners in crime. Let us also remind Mr President that he needs to know exactly what has happened in NNPCL over the
last few years.
“This is very important except he does not care about the Nigerian oil industry, which is impossible. Therefore, he must as a matter of necessity remove Mr. Kyari before he can see clearly, the rot and mess in the NNPCL.”
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