22 December 2015, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Federal Government has said the administration of Dr Goodluck Jonathan should be blamed for the fuel scarcity currently witnessed across the country.
Speaking to journalists at the conclusion of an emergency meeting of the Federal Executive Council at which President Muhammadu Buhari presided, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said the inability of the past government to make provisions for the payment of subsidy for fuel was the cause of the queues at filling stations across the country.
He said, “What I will be telling Nigerians is that what we met on ground is such that we are paying for the sins of the last administration. I am being very serious.
“You remember that about two weeks ago, we had to go to the National Assembly for a supplementary budget of N674 billion. Of that figure, N522 billion was for arrears of fuel subsidy which was incurred as far back as August last year.”
According to Mohammed, “One of the reasons for the fuel scarcity was the inability of the last government to make adequate provision for fuel subsidy.
“We do face some other logistic problems but majorly we are paying for the sins of the last administration.”
He said the Federal Government, however, was working out a solution.
He said, “The first thing we have done now is to make sure that unlike before when the marketers used to import the major percentage of the fuel, the Nigerian National Petroleum Coporation (NNPC) has been involved in importation, because some of the marketers had stopped importing for a couple of months. If you see any fuel anywhere today, it is imported by the NNPC.”
He added, “We also inherited the vandalisation of the pipelines which has made it impossible for us to even transport the fuel. In tanks today we have 14 days reserve and off tank we have 10 days reserve.
“The issue is not non-availability of the product it is the distribution, because of pipelines that have been vandalised and the gridlock in Lagos. It takes about 5 days for anybody to take fuel with tanker in Lagos. As at two days ago this matter has been resolved.”