Editorial: Petrol scarcity underscores marketers’, NNPC greed

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WED, DECEMBER 6 2017-theG&BJournal-It is approaching yuletide. What do you expect? A nationwide fuel crisis that is artificially created by greedy Independent Petrol Marketing (IPMAN) cabals, who have over the years turned the sector into their food baskets.

As always the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is scampering around with untenable, regurgitating reasons and excuses why there is scarcity. An example of how far incompetency has over run the corporation.

Two reasons are given for the current fuel crisis. First is that IPMAN, and for no known reasons or credible reasons have chosen to go on strike. The second which, is so saddening, is that they are hoarding petroleum products because they are expecting the ‘inept’ federal government petroleum sector regulators to announce another price increase.

Only yesterday, motorists queuing for petrol at the stations across the country was told by the NNPC that there was no shortage of petrol and urged them not to engage in panic buying after long queues built up at filling stations. The queues have gone from bad to worse since and there is no feasible assurance offered anymore. Maikantu Baru, the NNPC’s group managing director had called the queues ‘panic buying’.

“That is what his co-corrupt executives told him,’’ according one visibly angry motorist who told theG&BJournal that he had been on the queue since 5am this morning to buy fuel. “They are just a bunch of treasury looters,’’ he thundered.

His statement shortly after underscores this abject lie. He said he had ordered more petroleum products to be dispatched nationwide “to cushion the effects of excessive demand caused by panic buying” before travelling to Britain. If that is the case why the fire brigade response?

If this is perfidy it works for Baru. Meant to torment Nigerians. The world has seen that the Federal Government and indeed the NNPC has done well out of its reluctance to end this perennial crisis. It has never planned, mitigated or acted proactively on any matter around petrol stocking. Nothing has ever brought out the NNPC ineptitude more than its bone-headed response to managing petrol pricing, scarcity and stocking. They have also dodged the solution because they trigger it. They conceive it because they are the beneficiary. They create the scarcity and complain about panic buying. When it gets out of hand they try to convince motorists that they have enough in stock and blame the independent marketers who as always will have no response. This is perfidy and it works for them. There is no clean answer to the conundrum of Nigeria.

Petrol shortages have brought Nigeria to a standstill in the last few years through day-long queues for fuel, widespread power cuts at businesses that rely on petrol-driven generators to withstand frequent power outages and grounded planes. In the past the blame has been on the difficulty to find dollars to pay for refined oil products but this scenario has exposed the treachery of Baru, the NNPC and the IPMAN.

We urge President Mohammadu Buhari to take personal charge of the situation and deal once and for all with the scourge that is fuel crisis in Nigeria.

DCSL 90X780

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