Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The leadership of the Action Democratic Party (ADP) has blamed the lingering fuel scarcity in the country on conspiracy between officials of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the presidency.
Speaking at a press conference in Abuja, the National Chairman of ADP, Yagbagi Sani, expressed displeasure over the suffering Nigerians are subjected to in the past one month because of the inability of the government to end scarcity of petroleum products.
“It would appear as if is a kind of conspiracy against the people of this country by the government because it is not that we cannot produce this product within the country, it is not that we don’t have the money to import the product which unfortunately we are still importing but those that should take responsibility for providing the product have refuse to do their job,” he said.
The ADP chairman demanded the sacking of those directly responsible for putting the country in the current mess.
“We believe that Nigeria has no business importing fuel but should be exporting even refined petroleum products. So if Nigerians have tolerated that fraudulent system of importing petroleum products and they are not complaining, I don’t think that it is fair to visit them with this torture by disrupting their lives and subjecting the economy to huge losses due to a lot of man-hours lost while queuing to purchase fuel.
“The people we have at the NNPC are supposed to be experts, the president himself is an expert in this business because he was once the minister of petroleum resources and he is today the minister of petroleum resources. That is not the sector we would expect this kind of disruptions or corruption.”
He said the officials at the NNPC usually feed on the confused state of affairs in the sector, “because when there is a disorganised situation, they will have the opportunity of emergency importation which is what they doing now. Under this kind of emergency importation, the issues of checks and balances do not operate.
“So the officials are benefiting from it and it is Nigerians that are now suffering while those concerned are smiling to the banks. So I am even surprised that up till this moment, nobody has been sacked in the NNPC.
“Somebody must be responsible. If the Mr. President cannot step aside, somebody directly in charge should be held responsible, that is what a serious country does and that is what a government that says it is fight corruption should do so that others will learn and be serious with their duties.
“But when you allow us to suffer as we doing now and continues to lose money in a sector that we are self-sufficient and we comparative advantage, then there is conspiracy.
“There is conspiracy between the Presidency and the NNPC to suffer Nigerians unnecessarily. I think it is up us to change this government because they don’t know what they are doing,” he said.