*Nigerians snide APC over ‘no actual scarcity’
*As petrol hits N300 per litre in Abuja filling stations
By Olajide Fashikun, Sandra Onyekwere, Oluwole Francis
Faith Idehen, a 56-year taxi driver, while responding to the current fuel scarcity described this year’s setting as “Buhari Christmas carol taking place in filling stations nationwide.”
Idehen, an indigene of Edo state said, “this is the worst. For want of what to say, the ruing party claims there was no actual scarcity as if they are blind and can’t feel their environment. I am sad. I have been here since six hours ago and ended up buying the fuel at controlled price but the quantity I got does not justify what I got. Normally, my full tank is N7,000 but I got the same quantity for N10,500. The machines certainly were manipulated.
There is no fuel scarcity – APC: Idehen was reacting to Nigeria’s ruling APC which on Friday reacted to the petrol scarcity, saying there was no basis for the scarcity. “There’s no ‘actual scarcity’”, the APC said in a statement on Twitter Friday afternoon.
The party blamed marketers and panic buying amidst Yuletide holidays for the lingering scarcity.
PDP blames Buhari as Petroleum Minister for the scarcity: In its reaction, the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) blamed President Muhammadu Buhari who is also the Minister of Petroleum for the scarcity.
“The unbearable fuel situation in the country is completely unacceptable. Mr. President must be up and doing. He should not allow anybody to push him to claim that the issue of fuel scarcity is not under the purview of the Minister of Petroleum Resources.
“When he took office as President of Nigeria and also as the Minister of Petroleum Resources, he was aware that the buck stops at his table,” the party said in a statement by its spokesperson, Kola Ologbodiyan.
Fayose wants Buhari to resign as Petroleum Minister: In his reaction, Governor Ayodele Fayose asked President Buhari to resign as Petroleum Minister. He said the scarcity was a deliberate ploy by the Buhari administration to hike fuel prices to as much as N200.00 per litre.
FG promise has failed woefully: Despite assurances by various government agencies and officials that the current fuel crisis will abate, the situation across the country portends a bleak Christmas, as the scarcity bites harder and thousands are forced to sleep in filling stations to purchase the product.
When the scarcity began, both the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu and the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Maikanti Baru, said normalcy was going to be restored in a matter of days.
When the crisis worsened, following the threat by the Independent Petroleum Products Marketers of Nigeria (IPMAN), to embark on a nationwide strike, Mr. Kachikwu, following the marching orders by the Executive Council of the Federation (FEC), said the problem was going to end in a few days.
Subsequent assurances from the NNPC was that enough had been done, by increasing the number of trucks of petroleum products to major cities to take care of the scarcity.
But, days after those assurances, the situation in Lagos, Abuja and most other major cities across the country remain far from normal, as fuel remains in short supply, with attendant high prices and cheating of buyers from the pumps.
The resultant impact has been rising transportation fares by almost 100 per cent, as Nigerians prepare for Christmas. Many Nigerians could not travel. As at the last time we checked on Saturday afternoon, most filling stations in Mararaba, Nyanya, Airport Road, Kubwa expressway, Kuje and Jikwoyi neighbourhoods of Abuja, the average cost of petroleum per litre had shot up to N300.00 while 10 litres in the black market goes for as much as N3,500.00