Blame Game Govt: Oshiomhole blames fuel scarcity on PDP’s 16-year rule, NNPC says road construction responsible

As the APC-led federal government continues to pass buck on why it continues to drag over a hundred million Nigerians into abject poverty and hardship, a former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, has blamed the endless fuel scarcity experienced all over the country on the inability of the People Democratic Party (PDP) to fix Nigeria’s refineries during its 16-year rule.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC), weeks after the queues resurfaced, also, blames the shameful situation on some construction projects going on in Apapa area of Lagos state. 

Oshiomhole, a deputy director general of Tinubu-Shettima Campaign Council, stated this during a live appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today programme on Wednesday. Recall however that power shifted from PDP to the APC in the country close to eight years ago.

“We must ask the question: who destroyed the refineries? What was the condition of the refineries by 1999? From 1999 to 2015, PDP was in power for 16 years. During this 16 years, if they bring out the figure, what they claimed to have spent maintaining these refineries, you will faint.

“And a PDP president decided to privatise the refineries, that was (Olusegun) Obasanjo, towards the tail end of his tenure, another PDP president came and revised the privatisation, promised six months that fuel will be available,” he said.

Still in the act of buck passing, NNPC aid saying the fuel queues in Lagos State and Abuja are as a result of some construction projects going on in Lagos state. 

NNPC’s Executive Vice President, Downstream, Mr Adeyemi Adetunju, reportedly gave this explanation while addressing a news conference in Abuja on Tuesday.

His argument: “The recent queues in Lagos are largely due to ongoing road infrastructure projects around Apapa and access road challenges in some parts of Lagos depots. The gridlock is easing out and NNPC has programmed vessels and trucks to unconstrained depots and massive load outs from depots to various states are closely being monitored.

“Abuja is impacted by the challenges recorded in Lagos. NNPC retail and key marketers have intensified dedicated loading into Abuja to restore normalcy as soon as possible,” he said.

But he assured Nigerians that efforts are ongoing to ensure that normalcy returns as soon as possible.

Now, back to Oshiomhole who sees the problem with the PDP, even when his party has been holding power for almost eight years now. According to him, one of the major crises that then President Goodluck Jonathan faced was dealing with the crisis around Premium Motor Spirit known as petrol.

“So, if you have to talk about the maintenance of the refineries, you will have to trace it to the 16 years of the PDP, they couldn’t fix it,” Oshiomhole said.

Rather than tell Nigerians how they current torture at the filling stations should be eased, Oshiomhole instead, listed what he called the successes of the APC administration led by President Muhammadu Buhari since assumption of office in May 2015 to include the Petroleum Industry Act, and attracting the “right investment” to the sector, including the refinery in Lagos owned by Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote.

However, and in the midst of the crisis, NNPC reassures Nigerians of sufficient products, and significant increased product loading.

In blaming road construction in Lagos for the current crisis across the country, here is what Adetunju has to say: “We want to reassure all Nigerians that NNPC has sufficient products, and we significantly increased product loading, including 24-hour operations in selected depots and extended hours at strategic stations to ensure products sufficiency nationwide.

“We are also working with the NMDPRA, MOMAN, DAPPMAN, IPMAN, NARTO, PTD, and other industry stakeholders to ensure normalcy is returned.”

The NNPC, he added, has a “national PMS stock of over 2 billion litres. This is equivalent to over 30 days of sufficiency”.

Sadly, fuel scarcity is recurrent in Nigeria, one of the largest producers of crude oil globally. The most recent queues in several parts of the country have, no doubt, left many commuters stranded. Those who can afford it have resorted to buying the product from black marketers who have cashed in on the situation to sell at exorbitant prices.

The government has said payment of subsidy for fuel is unstainable and has planned its removal for next year, a move that is sure to face pushbacks, according to reports

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