Fuel Scarcity: No Respite for Nigerians as the Blame Game Intensifies

Eric Ojo April 05, 2016

There seems to be no way out of the excruciating hardship and frustration brought upon Nigerians by the lingering scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly known as petrol. Queues of vehicles at the few filling stations dispensing the product seem to get longer by the day across the country.

Although Nigeria ranks high among oil producing nations, scarcity of petrol is a perennial problem that has repeatedly defied efforts by successive administrations to find a lasting solution. President Mohammadu Buhari promised to fix it, but over eight months into the new administration, the crisis has assumed another dimension: prohibitive cost of the product.

Those who are supposed to address the problem are busy trading blame while the pain bites harder on the consumers, particularly those who depend on the product to power their generating sets at home and for their businesses. Hikes in the price of fuel inadvertently result in price increase in other items, spreading the agony to even more Nigerians.

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), a watchdog NGO in Nigeria, has said that the protracted fuel scarcity had not only deprived Nigerians of unquantifiable economic opportunities but it had also subjected them to poor living conditions, ill-health, marginalisation and an inability to enter into the life of society and assume responsibilities.

“This situation is entirely inconsistent and incompatible with Nigeria’s human rights commitments, and cannot be justified given that Nigeria is among leading producers of oil in the world,” the group said in a statement issued on Monday.

“Indeed, the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights itself has recognised poverty as a violation of the obligations assumed by states parties under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights to which Nigeria is a party.”

When the hues and cries by the people became too jarring, the man at the centre of all it, Dr. Ibe Kachukwu, Minister of Petroleum Resources and Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), told Nigerians calling for a quick fix, that it is high time they realized that he is not a magician with powers to solve the problem with a magic wand.

Last Edited by:Sandra Appiah Updated: June 19, 2018


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