Experts, others blame Buhari’s holding petroleum ministry for fuel scarcity
Civil society groups, industry experts and other Nigerians have condemned President Muhammadu Buhari’s role as Minister of Petroleum Resources due to his alleged failure to proffer a lasting solution to the nation’s lingering fuel crisis.
Speaking to The Guardian in Abuja yesterday, they insisted that the development had made life and business operations unbearable for most Nigerians.
They alleged that in-transparency and unaccountability had further backed the President’s laspe to deliver on his campaign promises.
Cofounder of the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), Mike Loyibo, said Buhari had shown incompetence irrespective of his preference at the polls.
He said: “The President needs to appoint a substantive Minister of Petroleum Resources, who will have the energy to deal with the sector’s challenges. We are frustrated as a nation. We stand on fuel queues for over seven hours. In Abuja, the city of power, we are buying petrol in the black market.”
The Executive Director, Civil Society Legislative and Advocacy Centre (CSLAC), Auwal Musa, said the position has become too demanding for the President, adding that the sector needed experts to handle its numerous challenges.
He, therefore, called for a speedy passage of the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) to better manage the industry.
The Director, Centre for Democracy and Development, Idayat Hassan, stated that the President does not need to hold on to the position.
She said: “The President has to remove himself from managing the industry because that office needs someone with a hands-on experience.”
Also speaking, the President of Nigerian Association for Energy Economics (NAEE), Professor Wumi Iledare, said government should allow the private importers to bring petroleum products into the country and fix rates.
“The only thing is that you have to control the standards and make sure that whoever gets the products from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and sells at exorbitant prices is prosecuted,” she stated.
A motorist, Christopher James regretted the current scenario saying: “The queues keep lingering on a daily basis. I don’t think the scarcity will reduce. Buhari has failed Nigerians. During his campaign, he said he will crash fuel price to N50 but today we are seeing a different thing.”
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