Fuel Scarcity: Senate Wants Jail Term For Hoarders

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[contextly_auto_sidebar id=”5flM0FaF6nF0d4GE17xjwRUgliwd4gqX”]Following the ongoing fuel scarcity in the country, Gbenga Asafa representing Lagos East senatorial district suggested on the floor of the Senate that all fuel hoarders should be arrested.

He made this remark during the debate on a motion titled ‘the current fuel scarcity all around the country and the need to urgently resolve the crisis.

He said: “While discussing the three prayer motion sponsored by Barau Jibrin representing Kano North senatorial district, Asafa urged the approval of the supplementary budget which contains the amount proposed for payment of subsidy to the marketers, be treated with uttermost urgency.

“I witnessed first hand in Lagos the problem of fuel scarcity; no area in Lagos is spared from the agony of queues, up till this morning we could still see the queues. Some marketers derive pleasure in hoarding petroleum products; if we do not set example of people, the dastardly acts of hoarding will continue. Our regulators must ensure that marketers that are hoarding are not just clamped down but prosecuted.”

Asafa added that the lawmakers should assist President Muhammadu Buhari in reviving the country’s ailing refineries. “If our refineries functioned optimally, we would not have the problem of scarcity,” he said.

The Senate resolved in its prayers to commend President Muhammadu Buhari for his commitment and diligence in resolving intractable issues of petroleum products supply.

The Senate also resolved to mandate the Senate committee on petroleum downstream to examine all issues associated with the fuel scarcity and urged the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and other stakeholders to continue to push to stem the tide of the present scarcity.

Most of the lawmakers expressed the urgency of this lingering matter that has eaten deeply into the nation for a while.

Adamu Aliero representing Kebbi Central said it was more important to consider the issue of deregulation. He said there is no way refineries can be established by a private sector operator.

Emmanuel Paul Walker representing Bayelsa Central senatorial district also added that the government still has something to hide on the chain of supply of petroleum products that is shared to the public.

“This situation could not have arisen overnight, it must have been creeping n gradually. A situation were importation of fuel is restricted the NNPC is not feasible and this problems will continue. Removal of subsidy is laughable, government attempted to remove subsidy, but this is one area that touches the lives of every citizen,” he said.

Shehu Sani representing Kaduna state added that the minister of state, Ibeh Kachikwu must be summoned because Nigerians do not want subsidy removed.

Shehu Sani representing Kaduna state added that the minister of state, Ibeh Kachikwu must be summoned because Nigerians do not want subsidy removed.

Bukola Saraki the senate president while supporting the motion commended his colleagues on the efforts they put in the motion.

He also said that this issue should not be politicized but taken with priority.

He said: “It is certain that this important issue affects all Nigerians. What we are seeing now is not something that started today.”

‘That also brings the issue to why we must look out for the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) and look at how the institution can be more efficient,” he said.

The matter was referred to the committee on downstream to report in two weeks.