ENCOMIUM Weekly’s investigations revealed that no filling station in Lagos sold petrol at official pump price. In fact, only a few station dispensed fuel at even N150,000.
At Nationwide filling Station on Ijaiye Road, Ogba (Ikeja, Lagos), which was sealed on Friday (May 22), the management sold petrol at over N200 mainly to their “friends”, soldiers, police, touts and hawkers on Sunday and Monday (May 24 and 25) . Fights even occasionally broke at the filling station with innocent customers arbitrarily tear gassed by unauthorised persons.
SOLDIERS, POLICE HAWK FUEL, ASSAULT INNOCENT CIVILIANS
In the same vein, soldiers, police and other uniformed men massively assaulted innocent civilians who couldn’t make way for them to hawk fuel or buy the essential product for their cronies.
FG, OIL MARKETERS RESUME TALKS
Meanwhile, fuel tanker drivers have called off the strike that worsened the fuel crisis. We also learnt that oil marketers have resumed talks with the Federal Government to resolve the lingering crisis caused by alleged N200 billion debt owed them.
STAKEHOLDERS KICK AGAINST SUBSIDY
Also, many Nigerians have urged the incoming Buhari administration to discontinue with the fraudulent fuel subsidy regime. According to them, spending about N1.8 billion per day and well over N1 trillion per annum to a cabal as subsidy is injustice and unfair. They would rather the sector is liberalized and refineries fixed than the on-going waste of scare resources.
President-elect,General Buhari has been asked to consider the deregulation of the oil and gas downstream sector as a priority on assumption of office.
The President of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Remi Bello, said the current fuel scarcity and power supply situation in the country have grounded the economy.
Bello said only the immediate deregulation of the sector would help resolve the recurring problem of scarcity of petroleum products in the country.
The Chamber identifies massive corruption in the fuel subsidy regime, collapse of the country’s refineries, dwindling investment in the downstream sector and loss of jobs as some the key challenges the sector was facing.
“The current fuel subsidy regime and government’s direct involvement in the operations of oil and gas sector should be stopped if normalcy is to be restored in the nation’s economy,” he concluded.
NIGERIANS GROAN AS WATER, ELECTRICITY AND BASIC NECESSITIES OF LIFE ELUDE THEM
Relatedly, the on-going fuel scarcity, the worst of its kind in Nigeria’s history, has affected the supply of water, electricity and basic necessities of life across the country. And suffering untold hardship, Nigerians have been cursing and abusing the outgoing President (Jonathan) for punishing them without a cause.
Some households have not been able to find what to eat as their means of livelihood has been threatened by the lingering fuel scarcity which the Federal Government doesn’t seem to have done much to arrest.
NIGERIANS CURSE AND ABUSE JONATHAN
Already rated the most criticised Nigerian President, President Jonathan would also be remembered as the most abused Nigerian leader.
Expectedly, he got a whole lot of knocks with the on-going fuel scarcity.
For some, he didn’t disappoint them, having been clueless from the very beginning of his regime. He is said to have lost control of the nation as he bowed to the pressure of the powerful oil cabal.
There are equally side talks that Jonathan is punishing Nigerian’s for kicking him out of office.
IFEANYI UBAH’S CAPITAL OIL TO THE RESCUE
Dr. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah,Managing Director/CEO Capital Oil and Gas Industries Limited, Lagos,
Capital Oil and founder of Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria (TAN) has announced that all his stations have been ordered to start selling fuel.
In the press statement released on Sunday, May 24, 2015, the spoke compassionately about the fact that a lot of sectors in the Nigerian economy have started to suffer as a result of the fuel scarcity.
“On Saturday, May 16, 2015, we received an SMS ordering the suspension of loading activities in all depots from Monday, May 18, 2015. We later realized that this directive was as a result of unpaid funds owed to transporters by oil marketers who in turn are owed by the Federal Government.
“This development has resulted in immense hardship to our fellow country men and women. We believe that a better solution can be pursued towards solving this problem in a way that does not adversely affect our dear citizens. Capital Oil and Gas has watched with so much pain, the suffering and hardship our citizens have been subjected to as a result of scarcity of petrol, diesel, aviation fuel and house hold kerosene.
“We are deeply pained to hear that hospitals cannot perform surgeries, laboratories are unable to carry out much needed tests especially for emergency patients leaving such patients at risk of dying, radio stations are shutting down, communication is being affected as MTN and other telecommunications company have announced an impending shut down while homes, offices and key facilities nationwide are experiencing blackouts. In some parts of the country, petrol is already selling at an all-time high of N1,000 per litre.
“Our citizens have left their homes and are now sleeping in fuel stations, facing the risk of robbery attacks and other attendant risk. In a few days’ time, a new government headed by General Muhammadu Buhari will be sworn in. Apart from our citizens being unable to watch the handover on television and unavailability of transportation for attendees of this historic handover, the resulting chaos from this scarcity may shutdown the Nation and sabotage the efforts Nigeria has made to attain greater heights.
“We are constrained at this point and have decided that two wrongs cannot make a right. We will not be part of this sabotage against our fatherland. Therefore, from this minute, we shall take the risk of opening our facilities and commence swift loading and distribution of products nationwide. Our facility has the capacity to load over 13 million litres of product before dawn.
“This comes to approximately 400 trucks of petroleum products. With this act, it is our belief that once again our citizens will begin to smile, return to normal family and work life. We call on other petroleum marketers to follow suit and save our Nation from this impending economic and social crisis. This is a period that requires patriotism and service to fatherland. Let’s join hands to help our fellow citizens and save Nigeria. We also call on striking bodies to call off the strike action. Let us work together for the betterment of our people. As we brief you this moment, our truck park, port reception facilities and our depot complex have been ordered opened.
“We are ordering and resuming discharge of products from vessels at our berths. We have ordered our trucks to commence loading of products and move overnight to every state of the Federation. Most importantly, we wish to use this medium to thank NNPC and PPMC for their steadfastness in ensuring the availability of petroleum products. Current PPMC stock level in our storage tanks and buffer stock on vessels awaiting discharge at our jetty is capable of meeting the Nation’s need for 15 days. Furthermore, we wish to emphasis that we have a total solution to the traffic menace on the Oshodi-Apapa expressway.
“In the coming weeks, we hope to engage the Federal Government (Federal Ministry of Transport), Lagos State Government and other stakeholders in the affected area, to optimally utilize our truck park facilities which has the capacity to accommodate over 1,100 trucks per time and 5,000 on a shift basis. Capital Oil and Gas continues to appeal to Nigerians to accept and support deregulation as this will curb corruption, enhance competition, lead to reduction of pump price for petroleum products and ensure constant supply to meet Nigeria’s demand. Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
By Monday, May 25, petrol was sold at all Capital Oil filling stations at N87 official pump price.
JONATHAN INCURS $21 BILLION DEBT
When Nigerians were alerted that the Jonathan administration accounts for $21 billion out of the nation’s staggering $63 billion debt, the revelation was greeted with outrage. Now the implication is that the Buhari regime had to clear up the mess before they could move the nation forward.
And with about N5 trillion domestic debt incurred in just five years, Nigerians are not left in any doubt that the Jonathan Presidency is a disaster!
SALARIES OF CIVIL SERVANTS UNPAID
To add to the ruin Jonathan is leaving behind, Federal and state civil servants are also being owed salaries for months. Reports across the country indicate that things are so bad that workers can’t even feed their families, even as their standard of living is worsened by the dwindling economy.