Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has condemned the hardship faced by Nigerians in the search for petrol, saying the citizens were wasting productive hours queuing at filling stations.
“The countless number of man hours that will be spent at petrol stations will reduce our productivity as a nation. This should not be so,” Buhari said in a tweet on Tuesday.
The former head of state, who took to tweeter to react to the scarcity of the product, called on Nigerians to reject a system that had turned the country, which he described as the world’s largest crude exporter, into an importer of petrol.
The APC presidential candidate recalled that domestic consumption of petrol was taken care of when he was the Chairman of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and Minister of Petroleum in 1970.
He added that two of the country’s four refineries were built while he was the petroleum minister.
The APC presidential candidate expressed concern that Nigerians had been put at the mercy of importers as a result of the failure to meet domestic needs of the people by the refineries.
“But over the last several years, our refineries have declined and we are at the mercy of imports,” Buhari said.
Scarcity of premium motor spirit, popularly called petrol, worsened across the country on Tuesday with a litre of the product selling between N140 and N160 in Kogi State.
Investigation by one of our correspondents on Tuesday revealed acute shortage of petroleum products in the state with the few stations with fuel selling as high as 100 per cent over the official N87 per litre pump price.
Our correspondent noticed long queues in two filling stations that sold fuel at the Abuja bye-pass in Felele, in Lokoja.
Other filling stations along the road closed their gates to customers, dis[playing the “no fuel” signal.
Meanwhile, Speaker of the Kwara State House of Assembly, Mr. Razak Atunwa, on Tuesday described as sad the allegation by the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu, that the ongoing fuel scarcity was caused by the APC.
Mu’azu reportedly said the APC had bribed oil marketers to hoard petroleum products nationwide.
The Speaker, in a statement by his media aide, Mr. Olawale Rotimi, decried the poor state of the nation’s economy.
He called on President Goodluck Jonathan to stop politicising the welfare of Nigerians, urging the President to re-position the nation’s economy to make it possible for Nigerians to embark on their daily activities.
Atunwa said, “Mu’azu has blamed the fuel scarcity on the opposition party, another flimsy excuse. No serious government will blame everything on the opposition; a serious government must take responsibility for whatever happens in the country.
“The Federal Government has spent trillions of Naira on so-called subsidy without accountability. Under Jonathan, over $8bn is lost annually to oil theft, the biggest Nigeria has ever experienced.
“Unfortunately, United States, who is the major importer of Nigerian oil since 1973, has announced that it will not import oil from Nigeria anymore, yet President Goodluck is not diversifying our economy.
“APC has no power to ignite scarcity of fuel in the nation; hence, Jonathan should take responsibility and stop politicising the wellbeing of Nigerians.”