A major Nigerian character trait is perseverance in difficult times. Civil groups and public watchers however have warned the authorities in recent times not to take the peoples passivity for granted, especially in the face of prevailing economic hardship occasioned by protracted fuel scarcity. The group of young Nigerian professionals under the aegis of the Oak Leadership Initiative, OLI, is one of such organized bodies that have become vociferous in recent times over the fuel scarcity that has crippled economic activities in the country.
The group, which focuses on Nigeria’s leadership rebirth, said the situation has become even more worrisome as the massive energy crisis has worsened the huge economic burdens its members, like most Nigerians, have had to grapple with since the crisis began about 6 months ago.
“It is ironic and a big shame that the long queues at petrol stations across the country have become a permanent feature of our cities in a country that is reputed to be one of the world’s leading producers of oil,” the convener of the group, Emrys Ijaola said in Abuja.
Petrol currently sells for between N140 and N250 across the country, with many reports of adjusted metres by fuel attendants, even as Nigerians spend days and nights in long queues at filling stations in search of the commodity at that rate.
The group said that President Muhammadu Buhari, as the Minister for Petroleum Resources, must take full responsibility of the situation and ensure the immediate resolution of the energy crisis, “rather than resort to unending apologies to Nigerians”.
The civil group blamed the DPR and the PPPRA for the discretionary prices fixed by the marketers outside the major cities of Abuja and Lagos State. It said the regulatory agencies were not doing enough to ensure compliance to the official price of N86 per litre, saying the agencies have all abandoned their monitoring and regulatory functions, while consumers are compelled to buy the scarce product at any price.