Group demands resolution of Nigeria’s lingering energy crisis

*Fuel hawkers engaged in brisk business.

*Fuel hawkers engaged in brisk business.

02 May 2016, Abuja — A civic group has expressed concern over the lingering energy crisis and the burden the situation has inflicted on Nigerians.

For weeks, Nigerians have grappled with problems associated with acute scarcity of petrol, as they stayed in long queues at filling stations in search of the commodity.

The scarcity comes at a time Nigerians agonize with the high tariffs imposed early this year by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, as well as the declining electricity supply .

The group of young Nigerian professionals under the aegis of the Oak Leadership Initiative, OLI, which focuses on Nigeria’s leadership rebirth, said on Friday that its members were worried that successive governments have failed to find lasting solutions to the problem.

The convener of the group, Emrys Ijaola, said the situation has become even more worrisome as the massive energy crisis has worsened the huge economic burdens its members, like most Nigerians, have had to grapple with since the crisis began.

“President Muhammadu Buhari, as the Minister for Petroleum Resources, must take full responsibility for the situation and ensure the immediate resolution of the energy crisis, rather than resort to unending apology to Nigerians,” Mr. Ijaola said in a statement in Abuja.

“It is ironic and a big shame that the long queues at petrol stations across the country have become a permanent feature of our cities in a country that is reputed to be the one of the world’s leading producers of oil.

“It is sad that the government has not been able to fulfil its various promises to end the crisis, despite the problems the crisis has generated, including the apparent constriction of the economy,” he added.

The group blamed the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC; the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR and the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA for failure to effective discharge their supply, distribution, monitoring and regulatory functions.

Outside Abuja and Lagos State, the group noted that fuel was sold at discretionary prices fixed by the marketers, because the DPR and the PPPRA have all abandoned their monitoring and regulatory functions, with consumers compelled to buy at any price.

Mr. Ijaola said the petrol scarcity further compounded the problems associated with the poor generation and distribution of electricity and the high electricity tariffs imposed on consumers.

He said the long-term solution to the fuel crisis remained sanitizing the oil and gas industry, security of oil facilities and the establishment of more refineries, including modular refineries as opposed to the present massive importation of petroleum products.
*Bassey Udo – Premium Times

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