Nigerian senators seek end to persistent fuel crisis

By Edwin Akwueh, Abuja

Members of the Nigerian Senate have called on the Federal Government to devise new strategies to resolve the lingering crisis in the petroleum sector.

The lawmakers also demanded an end to the blame game among leaders of the political parties, describing the development as “unrewarding” to all stakeholders, particularly the end users of petroleum products.

Senate Minority Whip, Senator Philip Aduda made the call on Monday after a brief tour of some petrol stations in the Abuja metropolis by the Senate Committee on Petroleum Downstream.

He said there must be concerted efforts by all the leaders across the political party divide, with a view to ameliorating the suffering of Nigerians as a result of the lingering fuel problem.

Senator Phillip Aduda
Senator Phillip Aduda

According to the minority whip, “whichever way government looks for petrol and demands are met for the people for us to have Nigerians off the queues is what we are looking for, and that is what must happen, and it’s unacceptable by Nigerians that we remain in the long queues,. If the APC leaders like, let them blame themselves but the most important thing is that we want to have fuel in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

That is what we are looking for; that is what we want, and that is what Nigerians want and that is what we want to see happen because it is our desire that the queues disappear.”

Earlier, the acting Chairman of the Senate Committee on Petroleum Downstream, Senator Jubril Barau, told journalists that the National Assembly leadership was “deeply” concerned by the situation which informed their decision to cut short the Easter recess to help find a solution to the fuel crisis.

Senator Barau emphasized that the Senate leadership had mandated the committee to embark on the tour of petrol stations, in order to have a firsthand assessment of the current situation before taking any decision on the matter.

Meeting with Kachikwu

He said the committee is scheduled to meet with the Minister of state for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu on Tuesday this week, to inform the Senators about his strategies to end the problem permanently.

“We respect President Buhari very well and we understand that he can solve this problem and that is why we decided to give the petroleum ministry enough time to organize itself but this problem has continued unabated, it’s appalling, the situation is bad, and that is why we have embarked on this exercise,” Senator Barau stressed.

Senator Jibrin Barau
Senator Jubril Barau

According to him, “when we went home for the Easter recess, we began to see major problem of fuel scarcity in our constituencies and the Senate President got this information from almost all the Senators, and he felt that there was a need that the senate Committee on Petroleum Downstream should quickly come back to Abuja to address the situation”.

Some of the petrol stations visited by the Senators include, CONOIL, OANDO, and TOTAL, all located within the Abuja city centre.