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Senate Probes Fuel Scarcity

Ayodele Afolabi, Abuja – Senate has mandated its Committees on Petroleum Resources ( Upstream and Downstream ) to immediately commence investigation into the remote and immediate causes of the lingering fuel scarcity in the country.

The decision followed a motion by the Deputy Senate Majority Leader,   Abdul Ningi ( PDP Bauchi Central), who prayed the Upper chamber to pay serious attention to the biting fuel crisis which was creating great hardship for Nigerians at the moment.

The Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over the plenary, noted that since Ningi raised the motion under personal explanation, the senate would not debate it but would rather approved his prayers.

He said, ” Ningi’s prayers are simple and straightforward. He is asking us, as representatives of the people, to direct our committees on upstream and downstream, to find out what is currently going on in the oil sector and possibly find a way of addressing it.

“In that regard, we now ask our committees on Petroleum Resources ( Upstream and Downstream), to find out what is going on and what the government is doing about it and report back on Tuesday last week. That is our wish”

Ningi, had while moving his motion, said since the Senate still have the mandate of the people‎ until June 1, it had the responsibility to intervene in the unfortunate development.

“We need to know whether fuel scarcity has come to stay. We need to know whether it has become part of our life. We need to plan.

“By planning and talking about it we our now sensitising Nigerians to brace up for the impending issue of fuel scarcity whether it is going to be here permanently or temporary.

“But we can’t know all these things until we hear from the experts. Therefore my prayer is to ask the committee on downstream and upstream to come up with explanations next Tuesday through which Nigerians will know and plan their future.

“Otherwise, I think its legally and morally wrong to keep silent about it, sweep it under the carpet and to continue to believe these things are usual”, he said.

The bitting fuel scarcity which started across the federation early last month when oil marketers alleged that the federal government was owing them backlog of unpaid subsidy monies running into hundreds of billions of Naira had since then remained with Nigerian motorists and other consumers.

Even the explanation given by the Finance Minister and Coordinating Minister off the Economy, Dr Mrs Ngozi Okonjo Iweala last week that the federal government had paid about N150billion out of the N200billion the marketers alleged FG to be owing, has not in anyway, helped in bringing an end to the scarcity.


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