By Olakiitan Victor in Ado Ekiti
A member of the seventh House of Representatives, Hon Bamidele Faparusi, has appealed to major marketers in Nigeria not to sabotage the efforts of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to halt the ongoing fuel scarcity in the country.
Bamidele, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), said the nationwide scarcity has created erroneous impression that Buhari was not prepared for governance, being the criticism that was being hurled against the federal government by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, even when the marketers had already accepted that they were to blame for the paucity of the premium motor spirit.
Speaking in Ado Ekiti at the weekend, Faparusi said the apology tendered by President Buhari in view of the hard-biting scarcity of the petroleum products was borne out of enormous respect he has for Nigerians, who overwhelming voted for him in the last general polls.
Faparusi said those who are to tender apology to Nigerians are members of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, whom he accused of hoarding and diversion of the product to make outrageous gains.
“The marketers are the ones creating the problem, especially those holding franchise with the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation.
“When they loaded the product at the depots at the controlled price, they either took it to a private petrol station and sell at about N250 or hoard for no just cause. This is a product they out to sell for N86 to Nigerians going by franchise arrangements.
“It was most disturbing to see petrol stations that claimed that it has no petrol in their holes in the morning to start selling at evening when the buyers will have no choice than to buy. Some of them used to sell between the hours of 6pm and 9pm and the public is blaming the federal government for the suffering in the system.
“President Buhari must fashion the ongoing unbundling of the NNPC to include ability to be able to break the cartel in the petroleum sector. No one is creating the cartel other than the major marketers and the APC government should break the cartel as part of its anti-graft war.
“Nothing is more corrupt than what is happening to Nigerians now. The marketers are cunningly making high profit while poor Nigerians, who depend on oil for the running of their small businesses are being made to face very challenging and life-threatening situation, this is unacceptable.
“The promise made by the Minister of State for petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu that petrol will be available nationwide commencing from Saturday, April 9 will still not be realisable except these cartels are dealt with”, he said.