Journalism of Courage

Abating petrol situation:  Arewa Youths Assembly cautions against fuel racketeering, acts inimical to nation’s economic, security interests

…blasts the main opposition and other entities against working to cause public disaffection and incite the Nigerian people especially the youth against the Federal Government

 

As normalcy is being restored in petrol supply situation across the country, Nigerians have been urged to resist fuel racketeering, panic-buying and engaging in acts inimical to economic and security interests of the nation.

Also, the main opposition and other entities have been cautioned against working to cause public disaffection and incite the Nigerian people especially the youth against the Federal Government, saying they shall find none as cannon fodder.

The Arewa Youths Assembly (ASS) gave the warning in a press statement signed by the Speaker, Mohammed Salihu Danlami, a copy of which was given to Persecondnews.

It noted the efforts of the NNPC Ltd and relevant agencies in the oil sector on several fronts to address the unnerving situation and restore normalcy.

It stated: “Our fellow great patriots, It is a fact that the country has witnessed acute fuel shortage leading to long queues and sundry economic dislocations as a result of this.

“It is also true that efforts are ongoing on several fronts to address this unnerving situation and restore normalcy. It is further a fact that the government through the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, (NNPC Ltd), and the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), has demonstrated transparency and promoting accountability, first by informing Nigerians of the off-spec petroleum products as well as working to ensure that all affected companies and individuals responsible for the present untenable situation are appropriately sanctioned.

“For the avoidance of doubt, it was the NMDPRA that alerted the country of methanol above national specifications in imported petrol, and proceeded to say that efforts were on to remove the contaminated products from circulation on Tuesday, February 8, 2022.

“Also, the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Malam Mele Kyari, in subsequent statements and an appearance at the House of Representatives outlined efforts at remedying the situation.

“To underscore the seriousness of the situation, the NNPC and other relevant agencies have embarked on Petrol Distribution Surveillance (PDS). The aim of the PDS is to ensure the seamless evacuation of products from mother vessels to depots and trucking from depots to other inland depots as well as retail stations.

“Information available to Arewa Youth Assembly also shows that there is at present, daily monitoring of trucks out from depots to all 36 states of the nation with focus on demand and existing stock available in the retail stations in these states.

“The task is being complemented by the deployment of personnel of the Department of State Services (DSS) to effectively monitor truck out and prevent any diversion of products along the way. Besides these, there has been engagement with critical stakeholders in the petroleum value-chain like MOMAN, DAPMAN, IPMAN, PTD, NARTO, NUPENG to ensure products are distributed seamlessly and efficiently.’’

ASS said the background provided to the current fuel situation had become imperative for what it called overt and covert attempts by the integrity deficient opposition and hire-for-campaign civil society groups to skew the narrative and whipe up anti-government sentiments amongst Nigerians who are justifiably unhappy with the fuel situation.

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“While we stand by our fellow citizens in this trying moment, it is important that no group(s), individual(s) take advantage of the situation for political gain and personal aggrandizement.

“At a time such as this, citizens come together when there are genuine efforts to remedy the situation as has been shown by the federal government to assist in ameliorating the condition and urge the government to be more measured and quick.’’

While sending a strong message to the opposition and some civil society groups, ASS said: “Sadly, the reverse seems to be the case in Nigeria when the main opposition political party wishes to harvest from the common suffering of Nigerians through baseless conspiracy theories and underhand tactics that the present situation is to force Nigerians to accept a new price hike.

“Having critically reviewed the situation and received commitment from the federal government, we are persuaded to state that a new price hike for a litre of fuel is out of the table for now.

“However, we all should take cognizance that while the government was moving quickly to redress the imbalance arising from the off-spec imported fuel, the Russian-Ukraine war started and this has led to dire global ramifications.

“Since the Kremlin invasion, oil prices have spiked across the world. For instance, in the United Kingdom, a litre of fuel sells for as high as N841.2k (£1.49). Fuel price tracking outfit, RAC Fuel Watch, notes that petrol price per litre is £1.49, while diesel sells a little higher at £1.53. The simple maths show that to fill a 55-litre petrol car is at N46k.

“It bears stating too that given the rise in crude oil prices in the global market, the cost of refined products will naturally go up. It is therefore abracadabra politics for the main opposition party and their hire-for-protest civil society friends to suggest otherwise when market forces interplay are obvious.

“Furthermore, we should remember that at the moment, the country’s refineries are undergoing rehabilitation, therefore, we depend solely on imports for PMS supply.

“So with the high demand of crude and refined products across the world, embargoes against Russia and disruptions in shipping, the expectation that the supply chain would have been fully restored by last week was not achieved as expected.’’

“Nonetheless, we urge the NNPC, Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), security agencies especially the DSS to work round the clock and to see out the queues.

“Also, citizens have a part to play by resisting fuel racketeering, panic buying and engaging in acts inimical to economic and security interest of the nation. For the main opposition and other entities working to cause public disaffection and incite the Nigerian people especially the youth, you shall find none as cannon fodder for your altruistic agenda.

“Our mission is one: to support in addressing social dislocations and help the government make Nigeria work for all of us,’’ the Arewa youths stressed.

 

 

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