Former Governor of Kwara State, Senator Bukola Bukola Saraki has blamed the raging problem of petroleum scarcity in Nigeria on corruption, which according to him has permeated the oil industry while officials of government have been glossing over the problem with inability to proffer practicable solutions.
Saraki Said Nigeria in the past five years had wasted up to $32 billion on Oil Subsidy, while efforts made in that regard has never provided a solution to the crises in the Nigeria’s oil and gas sector
He described the fuel subsidy management in Nigeria as the biggest platform for fraud alluding to different rackets, which he said the oil marketers and government officials have been engaged in to rip off the national treasury on yearly basis.
He said the fraud in the scheme was allowed to fester by government through issuance of import licenses to very bogus number of companies totalling 82.
He alleged that many of the oil companies do not have the required facilities to be part of the most sensitive sector of the national economy, while they share from the sum of $2billion on yearly basis for products largely not supplied.
The Senate Presidential aspirant urged the Federal Government to take the bull by the horn by completely removing the fuel subsidy and restoring normalcy to the sector.
He said it would be better to remove the fuel subsidy and deliver the sector and the citizenry from the grip of racketeers in the industry, since they have never been allowing reforms to work well within the oil industry.
He said: “No matter what is happening now, If you go back to look at it, the major issue that dwindled us was the subsidy management. We are talking of about minimum of over $32 billion wasted on it over the last five to six years.
“That is the difference between where we are now and that time. It has impacted on our exchange rate, it is going to impact on our infrastructure, there is no money for capital budget.”
On his ambition to become the Senate President, the Senate Committee Chairman on Environment and Ecology, said he remained the best option for the post of Senate President.
He said if elected, he will direct the Senate affairs to be people oriented while being responsive to the yearnings and aspirations of ordinary Nigerians.
Saraki made this known in Abuja during a meeting with newsmen at his residence in Abuja.
He said, “We need to review the way we have been doing things and start doing things right. I will ensure that the Senate makes impact on the lives of the people. The people are not feeling the impact of the Parliament and they are asking what their elected representatives are doing there.
“I will provide quality direction on how to run the affairs of the country. We have to give Nigerians value for their money. The Senate must have a national agenda that will effectively address the multifarious problems confronting this country at the moment”
Saraki said Nigeria since the past 16 years has been facing the same direction which, according to him, has never offered the desired respite for the citizens.
He said the need for change had motivated the electorate to vote the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) out of government during the last Presidential election.
He said, “We need to allow internal democracy to take place in electing the leadership of the next Assembly so that people can elect their choice candidates without interference. Let us not base choice of leadership on sentiment.
“The PDP lost because Nigerians were tired of the failure in the system”.