Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, has declared that Nigerians were now paying for the sins of the past government.
He said the Jonathan government owed oil marketers huge debts in oil subsidy payments, such that they have stopped importing the product in the last couple of months, hence the biting scarcity.
Asked by State House correspondents to explain the scarcity to the nation, Lai 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, N522billion was for arrears of fuel subsidy which was incurred as far back as August last year”.
“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”.
Asked what the solution the government was now proffering, the Minister 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, NNPC has been involved in importation”.
“This is 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”.
“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 five days for anybody to take fuel with tanker in Lagos. As at two days ago this matter has been resolved. The Mosinmi pipeline has been secured and it has led to the improvement in the distribution.”
Source: Premium Times