Reps Member Speaks on Fuel Shortage, Urges Buhari to Break Cartel

The lawmaker representing Esan North East/Esan South East Constituency of Edo State, in the House of Representatives, Sergius Ogun, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to take up courage and break the cartel operating in the oil sector.

Ogun stated this during his appearance on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme on Thursday.

According to the member of Reps Ad-hoc Committee on Petroleum Downstream, “We need to pray for the President to be strong. In this industry, we have a strong cartel… The President will have to take the courage to stop some of these things.” 

Speaking further, Ogun said due to financial difficulties, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited is unable to reimburse oil suppliers. He claimed that NNPC’s inability to pay oil suppliers as well as other problems, such as oil theft, is to blame for the country’s continuous fuel shortage.

“The suppliers are not willing to give the refined products because NNPC is owing… NNPC is broke, they don’t have money to pay suppliers.”  

The Peoples Democratic Party PDP member also said the entire supply and logistics value chain in the oil sector has been dollarised and this poses a challenge to fuel marketers.

The lawmaker claimed that despite a presidential decree prohibiting it, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) continue to demand docking fees and other costs in dollars.

He claimed that because the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) refuses to provide foreign currency to oil marketers and suppliers, they must scavenge for dollars on the black market to pay for services rendered to the government.

Ogun highlighted that the President needs to get rid of these obstacles and wasteful expenses that are passed along to the general public.

“NPA takes their docking charges in dollars. NIMASA takes theirs in dollars. I heard there is a memo from the Villa and the late Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari met with the then Minister of Transportation and his agencies for them to take their fees in naira but he was ignored.

“CBN is not giving them dollars, so they have to go to the black market to buy dollars for these transactions with government agencies within the country,” he said.

“The President we voted for in 2015 is the man with steel but those that brought him in did not allow him to do a whole lot. How can you have a presidential memo that agencies should not collect dollars anymore and he is ignored? Where is the steel?” Ogun asked.

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