*Backs NNPCL plan to end fuel importation
By; BASHIR BELLO DOLLARS, Abuja
An anti-sabotage organisation under the aegis of The Natives, has tasked security agencies, especially the Directorate of State Security Services (DSS) and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) to fish-out oil marketers and other saboteurs responsible for fuel scarcity across the country.
The group described as ‘politically motivated’ the current fuel queue and hardship Nigerians were going through as a result of fuel scarcity.
In a statement released on Sunday in Abuja, signed by its President General, Hon. Smart Edwards, the group said that Nigerians should hold some players in the oil sector responsible for sabotaging the efforts of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) even as they unilaterally implement unapproved fuel prices.
Edwards, however, applauded the federal government, through the Minster of State for Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva and NNPCL on the recent announcement of the possible end of fuel importation by next year.
According to Edwards, Nigerians are tired of hearing about turn around maintenance year in, year out that leads to non functional refineries in the country.
The statement lamented that “saboteurs (among the marketers and distributors) have deliberately and for selfish reasons caused the scarcity to the extent that Nigerians testify in worship centres if they eventually fill their car tanks.
“This is abnormal which should not be allowed to stand. We call on the DSS and the NSCDC to go after these enemies of the state.
“We strongly condemn the scare and conducts of players that are leading to hike and queues as politically motivated, and this is sad, because the masses are at the receiving end.”
Edward said the Minister of State for Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva had said that President Muhammadu Buhari had not directed the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) or any agency for that matter to increase the price of fuel.
“The Minister quoted the President as saying ‘this is not the time for any price increase in pump price of PMS.’
“The Minister explained that what was playing out was the handiwork of mischief makers and those planning to discredit the achievements of the President in the oil and gas sector of the economy. Therefore, these saboteurs should not be allowed to succeed,” Hon. Edwards said.
While applauding the Minster of State for Petroleum and NNPCL on the recent announcement of the possible end of fuel importation by next year, the leader of The Natives said: “The news is cheering to the people particularly when you justapoxe it with our stand on the complete removal of subsidy.
“We cannot but applaud you and the team at the NNPCL for this positive effort in the right direction. We are tired of hearing turn around maintenance that leads to non-functional refineries, so this is surely a great job you are doing and we obviously welcome the news of 60000bpd portion of the refinery that will go operational by the first quarter of 2023.
“You have taken practical steps towards ensuring this delivery. The NNPCL as driven today appears people focused, with the laudable task it embarked on in boosting economic routes and making life easier for citizens by investing in the construction of 44 roads across the country, one can only begin to imagine the possibilities that abound when the NNPCL is left to do the job without distractions.
“We can see discoveries of Kolmani and that of Nasarawa state recently, the future effect of drilling and the implementation of the PIA is a clear signal of hope. We believe that turnaround surely awaits the affected states, because it means job opportunities for the youths and other opportunities for the host communities.
We, however, commend President Muhammadu Buhari (Mr Infrastructure) on the deliberate policy targeting our roads and highways via the Tax Credit Policy. This has made NNPCL very visible to the needs of the citizens and the Nation can only be better for it,” the statement said