For some weeks now, this nation has been caught in another fuel scarcity which features very long queues at the filling stations. Those officials who are supposed to remedy this shameful situation chose to feed the populace with lame excuses and even lies.
Is it not a big shame that we are a major exporter of crude oil and at the same time, a major importer of refined petroleum and its products? What a shame! Those concerned should look for a possible way and end this trend because it doesn’t portray a good image of the country. Though they don’t care if the country is made a laughing stock or not.
For how long is this going to last? This scarcity or shortage first started in the nation’s capital, Abuja when drivers formed long queues at petrol stations that had fuel but selling at higher prices. As this scarcity continued, officials of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation in their usual way claimed that they were ‘on top of the situation’ and blamed the temporary scarcity on its pipeline operations. They are on top of it indeed!
Well, Nigerians should brace themselves for prolonged scarcity because from all indication, this government is not doing anything to remedy this anomaly. All we hear is grammar upon grammar. We are on top of it, that’s all we hear. At times I think that this scarcity of fuel is organized by those we call ‘cabal’ as a way of punishing the Nigerian populace. Yes, in Nigeria, anything is possible. As always, a weak government will always be stuck in the web of scandal. There is no end in sight yet. Apart from the popular long queues which Nigerians are used to, many filling stations are selling at prices ranging from N120 to N200 per litre as against the regulated price of N97, while some petrol station attendants even collect bribes before they give you listening ears. This is season film indeed! I thought of buying a bicycle but the people around me would see me as being mentally imbalanced.
This NNPC people have blamed the situation on delays in offloading cargoes at the ports. And their latest ‘scapegoat’ is the damaged portion of its pipeline somewhere in Ogun State. A lazy farmer will always blame his tools for his failure.
I ask at times, are some of these predicaments not avoidable? An oil producing nation like ours that depend on a corruption-driven import system for its refined products supply is sure-bound to suffer shortages and other anomalies. No two ways about it. Why do we even prefer to import petrol products even not for corruption, flawed industry structure and weak governance? This directionless government unwisely chose to continue a policy of importing petroleum products even when we are told that its 2.7 million barrels per day makes it the sixth largest producer of oil in the world. What do you expect from a government that has anchored its 2013 budget on assumed oil production of 2.53 million barrel per day?
Yet in the midst of all these problems, the ‘almighty’ Petroleum Minister, Alison Madueke, is planning to waste about $1.6 billion on tax payers’ money on the state owned refineries that have swallowed billions of dollars on acclaimed turnaround maintenance for about three decades now, yet no show.
This is indeed suffering and smiling!
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