✕ CLOSE Online Special City News Entrepreneurship Environment Factcheck Everything Woman Home Front Islamic Forum Life Xtra Property Travel & Leisure Viewpoint Vox Pop Women In Business Art and Ideas Bookshelf Labour Law Letters
Click Here To Listen To Trust Radio Live

Overcoming the fuel cabal

Our government as the oil cartel’s official commission agents have totally surrendered their sovereignty to the fuel marketer. By buying the puerile argument that the…

Our government as the oil cartel’s official commission agents have totally surrendered their sovereignty to the fuel marketer. By buying the puerile argument that the only way to ensure steady supply is to allow for sale at any price dictated by the distributor, government has colluded with the cabal it agrees exist to double rape the average Nigerian. As it stands now, there are three governments in Nigeria. One operates in Abuja, another in Lagos and the rest of the country is on its own. It is a situation akin to what obtains in Somalia. In Abuja and Lagos petrol sells for N65 a litre, even though the gauges have mostly been tampered with. But the few stations that sell do so with impunity, forcing us to stand long hours on the queue only to be told at the pump that we are restricted to only N2,000 or a full tank provided we agree to the new rule – buy bottled water or American-made injector cleaner. Reject the offer and risk being dehumanised.

All over the world, government exists to deliver the citizen from the shylock. Not here. Ironically, every five or ten metres from filling stations, there are young men with petrol-filled jerry cans and rubber hose ever ready to dispense even where the stations are shut down allegedly because they have no fuel. The choice is always yours if you must move and you are buoyed by government vehicles patronising the tout. Yet, the number of people who earn a salary from government continues to dwindle – the rest of us get by counting every extra kobo.

Things have even gotten to a head now that government has no head. Who do you complain to even if you have the ears of those who arrogate to themselves our votes or the ones we did not cast but which were counted for us. It is a big shame that government claims they are not getting enough fuel for all of us and that they will only get it if we allow the private hands to sell them at the prices they dictate.

Yet, there are departments of government that is supposed to monitor fuel supply, from the time that the commodity enters the shores (since we will never again refine to our need) to the time it gets to our tanks. It is shameful to see that every 500 metres or so on the highways, there are fuel stations some of which have either never sold fuel from the first week of their commissioning or seldom have to sell but supply the tout and smile to the bank. Have these stations no owners? If they do have owners, are those owners not getting fuel from the dumps or depots? If they get fuel from the depots, where do they take them to?

Is it not possible for NNPC, PPPRA and its affiliates to monitor who imports fuel; what quantity; how that quantity is disposed and where it is dispensed? I kept asking these questions because making fuel available in Nigeria is not rocket science. If we truly have a government in place; if the minister of petroleum resources is not a commission agent of the cabal that government confessed exists but is unwilling to deal with, then what is his job?

The other day, minister of state for petroleum Odein Ajumogobia was on television supporting this status quo. My arguments is simple – monitor the fuel route from supply through distribution to destination; name, and shame and prosecute those who built stations for the sole purpose of diverting their allocation and take over the ones that sell at prices higher than normal since they all get the supply from the same source and this nonsense would stop. This puerile and misanthropic argument about deregulation is fluke, after all outside Abuja where do you find deregulated kerosene and diesel? If the regulatory agencies can’t find the means of doing this, let us shut them down – there’s absolutely no need to fund agencies that do not work for the people.

The paradox of the Nigerian poor is becoming more and more exasperating. He builds his own house at the peril of the government bulldozer, provides his own security by employing a night guard and vigilantes; opens up the road leading to his house; digs a borehole to get water; buys his own generating set to provide electricity. Now he can’t get fuel to power the set and yet he is asked to recite a pledge to Nigeria his country. Sometimes the only reason we exist as Nigerians is because we have nowhere else to call home.

VERIFIED: It is now possible to live in Nigeria and earn salary in US Dollars with premium domains, you can earn as much as $12,000 (₦18 Million).
Click here to start.