The Transition Monitoring Group (TMG) is seriously dismayed by the debilitating spate of fuel scarcity, which in the last few weeks, has literarily crippled the economy and made life unbearable for the ordinary Nigerian. As this round of scarcity bites harder, Nigerians are being compelled to bear the monumental economic costs. Beyond wasting man hours at filling stations across the country waiting for petrol, the scarcity is breeding inflation with the rising cost of transport in turn impacting on the cost of goods and services.
For an economy struggling to adapt to the six month old administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, the consequence of this new round of scarcity, is to say the least, most damaging. With the current liquidity squeeze in the system, as well as the meagre N18,000 minimum wage, which can hardly take the average Nigerian worker home, TMG is disturbed that the fuel scarcity would further impoverished Nigerians. This reality is much more apparent in the states, where governors across party lines have unanimously advertised their inability to pay the so called minimum wage. TMG is miffed that Nigerians would be subjected to this kind of situation, only six months after they massively voted for change in March 2015.
TMG recalls that not so long ago, the Buhari administration announced that most of the refineries, which were hitherto comatose had begun to produce refined products, including petrol. What has suddenly changed to warrant this new round of pains being inflicted on Nigerians as would be in the long queues dotting filling stations across the country? TMG calls on the administration to come out and disclose to Nigerians what the exact issue is with the fuel situation.
TMG believes that if it is the oil marketers that are holding the nation to ransom, the administration should come out and say so and decisively deal with them. Leaving Nigerians in the dark about what the main issues in the sector are would imply the government is not connecting, and understanding the plight of the average Nigerian. This feeling would be further accentuated by the fact that both the President (Muhammadu Buhari) as Minister of Petroleum Resources and his Minister of State, Ibe Kachikwu elected to travel out of the country at the same time when Nigerians are struggling to come to terms with the painful reality of the latest round of fuel crisis.
As the people bear the pains inflicted by this latest round of scarcity, it is apparent in their stoic resolve that this is not what they bargained for, when they massively voted for change at the March 28, 2015 Presidential election. Also, given that new Ministers have been sworn in and given their various portfolios, the ordinary Nigerian has kept faith that the Buhari government is on the verge of ameliorating the long years of suffering experienced under the inept 16 year rule of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
TMG is of the view that the current fuel scarcity being experienced by Nigerians brings back disturbing memories of those years of the locust. TMG therefore calls on the Federal Government to take immediate steps to end this humiliating experience Nigerians are being made to go through. Coming at a time many Nigerians are preparing for Christmas festivities, it is apparent that something urgent has to be done. TMG calls on the Buhari administration to move decisively to resolve this issue or risk losing the confidence hitherto reposed on it by long suffering citizens.
Long live Nigeria, the fuel scarcity must end!
Signed: Ibrahim M. Zikirullahi, Chairman, TMG
They should stop telling us that nigerians are causing the scarcity by panic buying. Are we fools?