EditorialUncertainty, Fears, Pains over Continued Fuel Scarcity

Uncertainty, Fears, Pains over Continued Fuel Scarcity

May 6, (THEWILL)- For the third week running, Nigerians continue to groan under the hardships created by the biting fuel scarcity across the country with the attendant implications on the prices of almost all items, especially foodstuffs and cost of transportation.

What started like a child’s play in the northern and eastern parts of the country, as well as the Federal Capital Territory, has now spread to every nook and cranny of Nigeria with vehicle owners and commuters having a hell of a time.

Business people who rely entirely on power generating sets to run their enterprises are the worst hit as many Nigerians now keep vigil at petrol filling stations in searching of the most essential commodity in the country now, especially with the epileptic power supply across the country.

With the price of petrol hitting as high as between N900 and N1,200 per litre in filling stations where the commodity is available, Nigerians continue to suffer unjustly to eke out a living in a country that produces and exports oil as its main source of revenue.

The assurances given by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) that it had enough fuel in stock to go round, thus dousing the fears of Nigerians, have not been convincing so far.

The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), despite its confirmation of enough fuel in vessels on the waters awaiting to be offloaded, is causing panic and fears with its threat of shutting down about 30,000 filling stations of its members and over N200 billion arrears of ”bridging claims” accruing to its members since September 2022.

Sadly, all these are happening almost a year after the popular ”fuel subsidy is gone” declaration by President Bola Tinubu on assumption of office on May 28, 2023, promising to make fuel available to all and sundry, though at a higher price.

Unfortunately for Nigerians, the withdrawal of subsidy on petrol has not really brought any relief as the attendant effects on the cost of living is making life really unbearable for the average Nigerian.

Most annoying is the fact that most of the palliatives promised by the Federal Government to cushion the effects of the subsidy withdrawal continue to be elusive to many almost one year after.

Aside from the Dangote Refinery and Petrochemical Company that has brought some relief on diesel and aviation fuel prices, none of the Federal Government-owned refineries, especially the PortHarcourt Refinery, which is being touted to have been rehabilitated and ready for production, has offered any relief so far.

We therefore call on the Federal Government and the NNPCL to come out clean and address the issues causing this lingering fuel scarcity as Nigerians cannot continue to suffer unjustly for the inefficiency and greed of a few people who are determined to make majority of Nigerians suffer for the government’s decision to block their illicit ways of milking the country dry through the corrupt subsidy regime.

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