The ghost of fuel scarcity has once again resurrated as long quee became evident in most of the filling stations in the Federal Capital Territory Abuja.The scarcity might not be unconnected to the fallout of fuel subsidy payment between the federal government and the oil marketers (NUPENG) .Though the issue seems to have been resolved the last time NUPENG threatened to embark on strike but it appears it is only a peace in the grave yard. A price Nigerians have to pay for relying heavily on the importation of refined petroleum products.
Nigeria, the six largest oil producing nation in the world has over the years generated enormous wealth running into billions of dollars. Ordinarily, Nigeria ought to have been a paradise of some sorts by now as regards infrastructural and economic developments.Yet its citizenry suffers unending shortage of fuel supply, high cost of petroleum products and perpetual darkness.
The moribund state of our refineries is deliberate and not accidental, orchestrated by the cabal in the oil sector and associate of the ruling party.
Despite Nigeria’s prominence in OPEC she find it difficult to refine for her own local consumption.It is a big shame that we now imports refined petroleum products from neighbouring country Niger.The question on the lips of many Nigerians is that why cant our refineries work?The answers lies with the NNPC Tower and the willingness of the Federal Governmet to fight corruption. No Nigerian know how much of barrels of crude oil that departs the shores of Nigeria daily, not even President Jonathan, we only consumed on whatever figures imaginated from the NNPC.
Succesive goverment over the years have failed to address this fundamental cancer. However, the emergence of President Jonathan with his Transformation Agenda had rekindled hope of many Nigerians but the event in January may have eroded public confidence reposed on him with regard to his electionery promises.
If you recalled, early this year Nigerians took to streets in protest of hike in the petroleum price all in the name of ‘THE REMOVAL OF FUEL SUBSIDY ‘ a new year gift of its kind which Nigerians are still grabbling with.
It is argued that there was no subsidy in the first place but the shocking revelations in the Fuel Subsidy reports attests to this proof. Following the finding of the Probe Panel headed by Hon. Farouq Lawan, some oil companies were indicted. The report were said to be thorough strong enough to be swept under any carpet, armist the melodramatic twist of $620,000 allerged bribe scam involving Mr. Femi Otedola and Mr. Farouq Lawan himself.
Due to public criticism of Presidency silence. President Jonathan ordered the Chief of Justice and the Attorney General of the Federation Hon. Mohammed Adoke to go ahead with the persecution of those found wanting. Whether this gesture is genuine or cosmetic remains to be seen as two sons of formal and the present PDP Chairman among others are involved in the shady deals.
What is more painful is that corruption cases in Nigeria are often tried on the pages of newspapers and on television screens, in the real sense it takes time than necessarily and in the end be rest assured that the accused will be left loose or ask to pay a stipen of the loot while keeping the rest for themselves as National Awards await them instead of prison.
This explains why Nigerians are restless, they want President Jonathan to go beyond rhetoric of promises in tackling corruption. A selective approach as witnessed in the recent sacks of NNPC Board of Directors exempting the Minister of Petroleun and Resources Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke who happened to be the Chairman of the Board left much to be accepted by all. A situation where people of questionable characters continue to play a very prominent roles in decision making ought to be condemned as a matter of principle if we are to be taken seriously by the international communities.
Only recently President Jonathan came out to say he is the most criticised Nigerian President, a statement that was regarded by some as self-divisionary and political gimmicks to shy away from responsibilities, since every healthy democracy requires an active participation of an opposition parties inform of constructive criticisms.
However, those who are sympathetic to our President would agree with me that the life of this Administration is too young to pass a judgement. More so that President Jonathan inherited most of these problems. It is a known fact that this Administration has taken the most controversial and unpopular policies as intensifies in the Fuel Subsidy protest, the increase in electricity tariff and the plan introduction of N5,000.00 note begining from next year.
Plaqued with numerous challenges ranging from infrastructural decay to security deficit in the face of Boko Haram threat, every patriotic Nigerian must defend the course of the project called Nigeria. It is unfair that Nigerians are passing through a trying period for the sins of few individuals who have helped held this country hostage. More than 70% of the entire population now lived below poverty line, that is the per capita income is less than $1 (one dollar).
No matter the circumstance Nigeria must progress and the only way is to fight corruption with sincerity of purpose, doggedness and determination in order to right the wrong by building more new refineries against all odd.
Written By Abdul Yahaya Oruma