The All Progressives Congress has said the real causes of the debilitating fuel scarcity across the country are the looting of the $12 billion domestic gas fund under President Goodluck Jonathan’s watch, as well as the Administration’s failure to pay fuel subsidy and the cost of interests on bank loans to oil marketers, thus making it impossible for them to begin another round of importation of refined petroleum products.
In a statement issued in Dubai on Tuesday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the PDP and the
Jonathan Administration decided to divert attention from those problems by accusing the opposition of being responsible for the
scarcity – a most laughable and irresponsible statement by a sitting government that is always so eager to blame everyone but itself for the nation’s woes.
It recalled that the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala had, in February, promised to pay all subsidies owed to the marketers then in the sum of N264 billion, along with the accrued interest.
APC said, however, that the failure to meet this obligation has made it impossible for the oil marketers, who are being owed heavily, to
finance another round of products importation.
”The truth is that this profligate government has run Nigeria aground, and the oil sector, whether upstream or downstream, has
particularly suffered hugely. The quantity of petroleum products that was imported has almost been fully consumed, without fresh products being brought in to augment supplies that have now fallen well below re-order level.
”The implication is that in addition to worsening power supply, crumbling prices of oil at the international market, weakening Naira and unprecedented corruption, Nigerians – who routinely provide their own electricity to power their homes and business, now have to face another round of government-imposed hardship with the ongoing fuel scarcity,” the party said.
It said the fuel crisis would not have reached the stage it is in now had the $12 billion domestic gas project fund not been looted under President Jonathan’s watch. This is because, with the project being executed, many vehicles, cooking stoves and generators would have been converted to use gas to reduce the importation of PMS, diesel and kerosene, and gas would have been available to fire the gas turbines at power stations while more power would have been delivered to the national grid.
APC accused President Jonathan of sabotaging the domestic gas project started by the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, with the $12 billion cash call provisions for gas development for domestic power generation looted under his (President Jonathan) watch.