Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu yesterday disagreed with President Muhammadu Buhari over claims that marketers or some other persons were behind the fuel crises that affected the country during the yuletide.
Kachikwu, while answering journalists questions after a joint meeting with other agencies of government and the marketers , said no one has come forward to prove allegations of sabotage or hoarding against any marketer.
The minister’s position conflicted with that of President Buhari who said in a nationwide broadcast that the scarcity was caused by some persons whom he vowed that government will prevent from further foisting hardship on the people.
”Unfortunately, I am saddened to acknowledge that for many this Christmas and New Year holidays have been anything but merry and happy. Instead of showing love, companionship and charity, some of our compatriots chose this period to inflict severe hardship on us all by creating unnecessary fuel scarcity across the country.
”The consequence was that not many could travel and the few who did had to pay exorbitant transport fares. This is unacceptable given that NNPC had taken measures to ensure availability at all depots. I am determined to get to the root of this collective blackmail of all Nigerians and ensure that whichever groups are behind this manipulated hardship will be prevented from doing so again.
”Such unpatriotism will not divert the Administration from the course we have set ourselves. Our government’s watch word and policy thrust is CHANGE. We must change our way of doing things or we will stagnate and be left behind in the race to lift our people out of poverty and into prosperity” Buhari said
On January 3, 2018 being the second working day for the year, fuel queues were still being seen in parts of Lagos, the nation’s commercial capital which the government had promised will disappear last weekend.
Some stations were discovered to still dispense slightly above the N145 per litre while the queues are longer at stations where it sells for the normal price.
Some consumers accuse officials of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) of compromising and conniving with the marketers to profiteer from the high demand for fuel for travelers this season