By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
Oil marketers in the country has been accused of sabotaging and masterminding the shortage in the supply and distribution of oil across the country, with a view to hoodwink the President Mohammadu Buhari led federal government into reintroducing subsidy regime.
The Civil Society for Development Initiative (CSDI), a coalition of Civil Society groups, made the allegation yesterday in a press conference in Abuja, said the oil marketers have something up their sleeves.
The National Coordinator of the group, Abolore Ola Bakare explained, who led other members of the group to the media briefing, noted that the fuel scarcity was artificial as well as it was the handiwork of those running the oil and gas downstream to foist their exploitative interest on Nigeria’s National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) through subsidy regime and price increase.
The group wondered how the oil marketers arrived at the price of N171.05k as the landing cost of a litter of the product, based on which they are proposing N184 per liter in 2018 leading to the scarcity of the product last year.
“We have on good authority that oil marketers proposed increase in pump price of N171.05k which the NNPC declined. That was why they have decided to create artificial scarcity”, the group said.
“It is glaring to all Nigerians that the downstream industry players have made up their minds to sabotage effort of government at all cost. That is why they are hoarding fuel at filling stations across the country.
“We are appalled that when officials of NNPC, including the Group GMD, Maikanti Baru, the PPRA Executive Secretary and Minister of State for Petroleum were virtually on supervisory tour of filling stations, yet those sabotours stuck to their guns”, they added.
The group particularly said it is suspecting IPMAN, PENGASSAN of complicity, particularly for declining invitations by key stakeholders to resolve the situation, a situation, they described as antithetical to policies of government at ensuring that Nigerians enjoy the dividends of democracy.
They therefore urged the management of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) not to submit to the demand of the marketers, saying the time of allowing few oil cabals to hijack the destiny of Nigerians has passed.