29th December, 2017
Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Dr. Maikanti Baru, says fuel scarcity which nearly grounded the country is over.
Baru who disclosed this to State House correspondents after the Jumat service at the Presidential Villa in Abuja said information available to him showed that normalcy had returned to Abuja, Lagos and many other parts of the country.
“I’m happy to report that we have tamed the monster that reared its head as a result of the rumoured price increase about three weeks ago.
“Unfortunately, that rumour instigated a lot of marketers to be very greedy and they decided that their fellow citizens should not enjoy the Christmas holiday and New Year with ease and decided to profiteer, starting by hoarding and diversion of products.
“At the beginning, I did address the press, telling the world that we have sufficient products that will last us 30 days through the New Year into January; but because the marketers wanted to inflict harm and pains on fellow citizens, they decided to hoard products, divert them and in some cases, even smuggled products out of the country.
“This has been tamed by the actions we took and I personally led the war around Abuja and other teams led the war in Lagos and other parts of the country.
“As of this (Friday) morning, I have gone round the Abuja metropolis and I have seen that the queues have reduced significantly to almost normal level and few motorists that I heard speaking on morning programmes concerning what I have seen said they have not spent up to 30 minutes to fuel their car.
“So, the monster has been tamed in Lagos, the situation has been brought into normalcy as far as two days ago and we are also achieving the same thing in all other cities.”
But some Nigerians disagreed with him on his assertion. Many said the scarcity is still evident as there are many filling stations in Lagos, Oyo, Cross River, Ekiti, Ondo, Osun, Kwara and Ogun still closed because of non availability of petrol.
They appealed to the NNPC boss to leave Abuja and visit some of these states to know the true position of things.
When asked to comment on the assertion by the NNPC boss that petrol is now available everywhere, a motorist at Sango, Iyiola Sanni, disagreed completely with the minister.
“The NNPC boss is a big liar. In fact, he should be arrested and prosecuted for lying. Which fuel scarcity has disappeared. Can’t you see yourself. The scarcity is still with us. How many filling stations did you see selling petrol, maybe one out of 10. And the one selling is selling above the recommended price of N145 a litre. He is selling at N200 a litre. So, what nonsense is he saying? He should keep his mouth shut and stop deceiving Nigerians,” Sanni stated angrily.
A trader at Iyana Meiran on the Lagos-Abeokuta express road, Iyabo Aina, also dismissed the NNPC boss as an incompetent minister. ”Which fuel scarcity don go, you no see yourself, which station dey sell fuel here. The man dey lie, don’t mind him,” she said.
She urged Nigerians to rise up against the minister and demand for his removal for putting Nigerians through hardship.