Citizens are blaming President Muhammadu Buhari, who is also the petroleum minister, and Minister of State Ibe Kachikwu, who is also the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for the crisis.
Nigeria's annual visitor, fuel scarcity, is here again.
The dreaded queues have returned and valuable man hours are again being wasted at fuel stations. The fact that Nigeria is an oil producing nation just crowns the ridiculousness of the situation.
Citizens are blaming President Muhammadu Buhari, who is also the petroleum minister, and Minister of State, Ibe Kachikwu, who is also the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, (NNPC) for the crisis.
Kachikwu on the other hand, placed the blame on the shoulders of Nigerians.
“…The absence of product is not the issue. What is the issue is the usual panic-buying by Nigerians… Again, there are people who store products and the DPR has sealed a lot of such stations in the last one week,” the minister said on November 11, 2015, after he was sworn in by Buhari.
The government cannot exonerate itself of responsibility for the crisis, but the real culprits behind the scarcity are ordinary, everyday Nigerians.
It is Nigerians who own petrol stations that hoard fuel in order to sell at a higher price later.
The attendants and station managers who charge a “selling fee” because they agreed to sell you fuel are all Nigerians.
Those people who buy fuel, adulterate it and then sell at cutthroat “black market” prices, you know them right? They’re Nigerians too.
The most notorious fuel-scarcity causing Nigerians are the opportunistic and unpatriotic oil marketers.
Marketers have held citizens of the country to ransom many times and all for their own personal gain. The most recent example is the disastrous fuel scarcity of May 2015 which practically shut the country down.
Fuel was being sold for up to N500 per litre, electricity was non-existent and people were dying but the marketers were smiling to the bank without a care in the world.
It took the intervention of one of their own, the Managing Director of Capital Oil and Gas, Ifeanyi Ubah, to stop the scarcity.
“Capital Oil and Gas has watched with so much pain, the suffering and hardship our citizens have been subjected to as a result of scarcity of petrol, diesel, aviation fuel and house hold kerosene,” Ubah said in a statement released on Sunday, May 24, 2015.
“We are deeply pained to hear that hospitals cannot perform surgeries, laboratories are unable to carry out much needed tests especially for emergency patients leaving such patients at risk of dying, radio stations are shutting down, communication is being affected as MTN and other telecommunications company have announced an impending shut down while homes, offices and key facilities nationwide are experiencing blackouts.
“We are constrained at this point and have decided that two wrongs cannot make a right. We will not be part of this sabotage against our fatherland. Therefore from this minute, we shall take the risk of opening our facilities and commence swift loading and distribution of products Nationwide,” he added.
Ubah’s action eventually led the marketers to call off their strike and supply fuel but that wasn’t the only thing he got right. Ubah, in his statement, described the marketers’ refusal to sell fuel despite the shutdown of the country as sabotage and that is exactly what it was.
In a saner clime, the marketers wouldn’t get away with their despicable and unconscionable action, but this is Nigeria, you can get away with anything if you really want to.
The fuel scarcity is a terrible and shameful occurrence that is being fed by the unfortunate desire of many Nigerians to benefit from the suffering of their fellow citizens.
The government is not really Nigeria’s biggest problem, Nigerians are.
Until we stop seeing one another like vultures see a dying animal, we will make no progress as a country.
It is hoped that President Buhari and Dr Kachikwu will take the necessary steps to stop the fuel scarcity trend once and for all and in so doing depart from the ways of the Nigerians who were in charge before them.
Until then, off to the petrol stations we must go.
See funny fuel scarcity memes in the Pulse photo gallery below: