Legal practitioner and senior advocate of Nigeria, Mr. Femi Falana has berated the minister of petroleum resources, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu and group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Maikanti Baru for assuring Nigerians that there was enough fuel whereas the contrary was the case.
In a statement issued in Lagos, Falana said the assurance was given some weeks back but regretted that the prevailing shortage of petrol was an indication that Kachikwu and Baru were not telling the truth.
The statement reads: “Since the assurance was given over three weeks ago, the fuel crisis has been compounded without any solution in sight. In view of the shortage of petrol throughout the country it is indubitably clear that Messrs Kachikwu and Baru deliberately set out to deceive the Nigerian people when they gave the misleading impression that there was enough fuel to cater for all consumers.
“Up till now, both highly placed officials have not tendered a public apology for engaging in public deceit. Neither has the substantive minister of petroleum resources, President Muhammadu Buhari explained the cause of the ongoing fuel crisis which has subjected the Nigerian people to untold misery and agony.
“Although the federal government has continued to assure the nation that there is no plan to increase the price of petrol, the independent marketers have said that they can no longer import refined fuel and sell at N145 per litre.
“Since the federal government claims that there is enough fuel to cater for all consumers the police should be mobilized to monitor the supply of the product throughout the country and ensure that all saboteurs are arrested and prosecuted forthwith.”
Meanwhile, the major oil marketers and depot owners said fuel scarcity might end in a few days’ time if the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation sustained the current level of supply of the product.
The Major Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) confirmed that its members, including Total Nigeria Plc, Oando Plc, Conoil Plc, MRS Oil Nigeria Plc and Forte Oil Plc, were receiving the product from the NNPC.
“The NNPC has been giving us product and we have been distributing it; all what we are hoping for is that they should continue at the rate they are giving us. If they keep giving us the product like this, the scarcity should end in a few days’ time,” said MOMAN’s executive director, Mr. Obafemi Olawore.