By Femi Ogunshola, Abuja.
The House of Representatives has urged relevant security agencies to fish out oil marketers and other economic saboteurs who might be responsible for the fuel scarcity across the country.
This followed the adoption of a motion of urgent public importance by Rep. Leke Abejide (ADC-Kogi) at the plenary in Abuja on Wednesday.
Abejide said that the National Assembly had approved money for subsidy on the petroleum products so as to mitigate unforeseen circumstances in the areas of shortages of the product.
He said that it would be recalled that over three months, there had been persistent scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) in many parts of the country and the situation appeared to be getting worse.
He said there were uneven pump prices being dispensed by filling stations across the country, which fuelled speculations that government might have started to remove subsidy on petrol.
Abejide said that there were allegations of a fall in petrol supply to marketers by private depots, which, he noted, was creating a dangerous mindset in the citizens.
The lawmaker said the current fuel crisis across the country could worsen in the days ahead, suggesting that scarcity of the product might not be unconnected with the increased cost of hiring vessels.
He said that hitherto “payment was in Naira but now it is being charged in U.S. dollars”.
He alleged that the scarcity was attributed to saboteurs among some of the key stakeholders who deliberately manipulated the system.
Abejide said that due to the scarcity, Nigerians were exposed to hardships, which had resulted in a hike in transportation fares and high cost of some major food items.
According to him, as a result of petrol scarcity, Nigerians are not finding it easy in their day-to-day livelihood activities.
The House, therefore, enjoined the NNPC Ltd., as a sole importer, to urgently ease off the queues at filling stations.
The House also mandated the relevant House Committees to investigate the matter within 48 hours and report to the House.
It invited the relevant regulatory authorities to appear before the leadership of the House of Representatives on Jan. 25.